New Military Round?

Thread starter #1


Senior Member
The military has announced that they will soon deep six the 5.56 caliber M4 and the 5.56 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW), and replace them with new, unspecified weapons firing a 6.8mm round. The reason for the change is said to be better body armor being used by our enemies, and the increase in engagements outside the effective range of the .22-caliber bullets in current small arms. (My son was a Platoon Leader in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan, and said they were ambushed on virtually every patrol by insurgents 600-1,000 meters out! At such ranges, only his 7.62mm weapons were effective at suppressing enemy fire. Fortunately, he had several soldiers armed with scoped M-14s, who succeeded in taking out Taliban fighters at these extreme distances.)

The thing is, the new round is said to NOT be the 6.8 SPC, developed for the military some years ago. Instead, it is said to be a completely new round with an effective range exceeding 1,000 meters, and capable of defeating enemy body armor. A loaded round is 10 percent lighter than a 7.62x51 (.308) round. No one is saying what weight projectile this new round fires, but it must be relatively heavy to accomplish the stated goals.

Likewise, the weapons being tested to fire this new round are being kept under wraps.

I can't wait to find out the skinny on this new super round. I'm anxious to find out if it lives up to the hype. If it does, it will only take about ten seconds after its revelation to be chambered in a sporting rifle!


Senior Member
With the military you have to see it to believe it when it comes to new equipment they adopt. There's so much red tape and politics that you can't get your hopes up.


Senior Member
could be a cased tapered round(look that one up)

no brass case..

who knows but it's pretty secret right now
I hope the "new weapons" will be an update on the AR-10/AR-15/M-4 platform. It took the Pentagon more than 10 years to fix the glitches with the M-16. They never really cured all of the problems. A totally new weapons system will likely have an even rougher break-in period.

Note how well the 1932 designed (1936 adopted) M-1 Garand system has lasted. The weapon also had a lot of problems that required action. But troops are using that design today in combat (M-14).

The Armalite system is lighter, easier to repair, and faster to cycle than John Garand's, so is a good operational choice*. An update on a proven platform would allow troops in the field to transition with fewer hiccups. That's important because hiccups are deadly when the other side is shooting at you!

(* - I used to argue M-14 over M-16, based on dependability, range, and kinetic impact. But bumping up the bullet, to something that will penetrate, will likely cure much of what time and experience hasn't already fixed.)
Not an expert , but do a bunch of reading . The new 6.8 round is for the Army only right now . The new round is suppose to have a polymer case and is going to be introduced in M4 type and SAW platform . Try looking into the firearm blog for more info . Hope this helps .


Senior Member
I've seen an article about it. It almost looks like a shotgun slug. Polymer case covering the entire projectile, primer in the back, powder and projectile inside. Looks like it will reduce/ eliminate feed issues and the ammo will be significantly lighter weight.
Thread starter #7


Senior Member
From an article in Popular Mechanics:

In July, the Army awarded contracts to AAI/Textron Systems, FN America, General Dynamics, PCP Tactical, and Sig Sauer. The Next Generation Squad Weapon will replace the M4A1 carbine, while the Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle will replace the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon. The M4A1 arms individual infantrymen, while one in three soldiers carries the heavier, faster-firing M249 for suppressing enemy fire. Each company will submit one prototype NGSW and one NGSA, but FN is allowed to submit two different variants. The prototypes are due in July.

According to the Prototype Opportunity Notice posted online, the Army wants the new weapons to fire in semi-automatic and fully automatic modes and share the same ammunition magazine. They must include a flash hider for minimizing muzzle blast at night time, a removable sound suppressor, and a carry sling. The weapons must be resistant to rust, scratches, chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, electromagnetic pulse, and cyber attacks (something for the contractors to keep in mind if the weapon is electrically controlled), and must come in some shade of Coyote, a shade of brown popular with the U.S. military. They must function in “all environments and weather conditions” and come equipped with a so-called “Picatinny rail” for mounting of optics, aiming lasers, and other weapon enhancements.


Senior Member
I have never considered 5.56 an effective round for combat.

Whatever it is, I hope they will do better than the 5.56 AND AR platform.

Just sayin"


Senior Member
With the 6.8 SPC all they have to buy is bbls, bolts and mags.

What they are proposing is basically a "278 Winchester". 7.62 Nato necked down. Why not just keep the 762 Nato ? They may have to relearn the fact that a full power round is about uncontrollable in full auto.

On a side note - I just finished a Brit published book on the Falklands war and seeing all the pics of the soldiers armed with FALs brought on thoughts of 'that's what a real battle rifle looks like'. Now that I think about it, there really is no 'ideal' universal rifle. Different battle scenarios really need a specific rifle. My definition of "universal" is "it don't fit anything". BTW, in 1982 the Brit special forces used a lot of "Armalite" rifles.


Senior Member
On a related note - anybody remember reading about the H&K G11 ?? Some of the things I've read over the past few years has hinted that it was shot down by politics or ???? not any inherent , unresolvable technical issues.

sea trout

Senior Member
Great info to read thanks!
I'm no expert at all but I never understood the change from 7.62. It works so well in so many circumstances!!
Is because of weight?? Cost??

sea trout

Senior Member
Like if your mind is like mine....simple and not military weapons educated......and read the opening statement again. "ambushed from 600 to 1000 meters and only the soldiers with m-14 were able to suppress enemy fire" Then why don't all the soldiers have m-14 or a modern ar-10 in the 1st place?
Just curious
Thread starter #13


Senior Member
I think the answer is that there are just not that many M-14s left in serviceable condition. They were only manufactured from 1959 to 1962 -- producing a total of 1.3 million rifles. Since then, most have either worn out, or been sold to U.S. client states. Its scarcity is probably why there there are only a few designated marksmen armed with them in every combat infantry unit.

Also, in the engagements i described in the OP, the insurgents were no more effective -- actually less so -- than our guys. Their standard weapon, the AK platform, was just a spray an pray rifle when shooting long range. When they were serious about trying to take our guys out, it was in a short range engagement. In such cases, our guys were/are better armed than them with the m-4 platform. In these situations, the M-14, is too long and unwieldy, and too slow a rate of fire.

It sounds to me like the military is trying to blend the good long range characteristics of the M-14 with the short-range firepower and handiness of the M-4. If they can pull it off, it will be the best battle rifle in the world!
Don't hold your breath, there is always someone doing T&E for new technology but that doesn't mean and contracts have been signed and orders have been placed. Interesting concept for sure but for now, its just that.