US Army Adopting 6.8?

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  • woodline

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Jan 8, 2017
    1,891
    Flannel Daddy likes as a stand-alone rifle. Thinks it’s fantastic. However, he’s not sure if it’s right as an infantry replacement for the M4.


    I don’t normally watch his videos, but took the time in this case. His thoughts mirror mine: great rifle, really cool cartridge, pretty sure it isn’t a good choice for standard issue.
    The MCX spear is definitely a great rifle. The suppressor is great too.

    Its the 6.8x51 I doubt. In some other cartridge, I'd probably be an enjoyer.
    In the battlefield of the future, apparently everyone we engage at CQB distances will be fully encased in level 4 body armor and all the walls of structures we fight in will be made of 4 inch thick steel. Definitely won’t be any civcas when this butt stomping cartridge blows through a bad guy and half his kids a few rooms over, or when guys miss the follow up shots and send a not so controlled pair through several houses.

    I think 6.8x51 is a wonderful 7.62x51 replacement and strongly support its adoption for that purpose. I am actually holding off on a new short action hunting rifle because I want it to be chambered in this. Would love a 12-16” suppressed light weight bolt action for hunting anything up to elk out to 400 yards. But for shooting bad guys, this is a weird choice. Especially since the war in Ukraine has shown us that Russian troops put cardboard in their plate carriers. That leaves China, except their unofficial stance on body armor is that having to use it “demoralizes the troops” (aka we don’t want to pay for it and they aren’t going to wear it anyway).

    Whatever, we’re sticking with intermediate cartridges for now, kids 20 years younger than me can lug this crap around.
     

    Eastwind

    Lazy bum
    May 3, 2020
    82
    I don’t normally watch his videos, but took the time in this case. His thoughts mirror mine: great rifle, really cool cartridge, pretty sure it isn’t a good choice for standard issue.

    In the battlefield of the future, apparently everyone we engage at CQB distances will be fully encased in level 4 body armor and all the walls of structures we fight in will be made of 4 inch thick steel. Definitely won’t be any civcas when this butt stomping cartridge blows through a bad guy and half his kids a few rooms over, or when guys miss the follow up shots and send a not so controlled pair through several houses.

    I think 6.8x51 is a wonderful 7.62x51 replacement and strongly support its adoption for that purpose. I am actually holding off on a new short action hunting rifle because I want it to be chambered in this. Would love a 12-16” suppressed light weight bolt action for hunting anything up to elk out to 400 yards. But for shooting bad guys, this is a weird choice. Especially since the war in Ukraine has shown us that Russian troops put cardboard in their plate carriers. That leaves China, except their unofficial stance on body armor is that having to use it “demoralizes the troops” (aka we don’t want to pay for it and they aren’t going to wear it anyway).

    Whatever, we’re sticking with intermediate cartridges for now, kids 20 years younger than me can lug this crap around.
    So, what you're saying is... no CMP M4 uppers? :(
     

    alucard0822

    For great Justice
    Oct 29, 2007
    16,215
    PA
    Actually kinda shocked they are considering replacing M4s with this. IMO it's a good DMR and probably the ultimate AR10. The round could replace 7.62 NATO in M240s, and end up most places where the added range, penetration and lethality are needed. For urban fighting, especially with a 3rd world enemy, I think a lighter 5# platform with K-can, optics and shorter barrels in a good sub 300m load like 300BO or even something heavy in 5.56 like MK262 might be better than a 10# monster with 20rd mags.
     
    Last edited:

    woodline

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Jan 8, 2017
    1,891
    Actually kinda shocked they are fonsidering replacing M4s with this. IMO it's a good DMR and probably the ultimate AR10. The round couud replace 7.62 NATO in M240s, and end up most places where the added range, penetration and lethality os needed. For urban fighting, especially with a 3rd world enemy, I think a lighter 5# platform with K-can, optics and shorter barrels in a good sub 300m load like 300BO or even something heavy in 5.56 like MK262 might be better than a 10# monster with 20rd mags.
    The new Sig belt fed in 6.8x51 is supposed to be pretty great, and the army is apparently working through the cost/benefit analysis of rebarreling existing 240s in 6.8 as well. I don’t think that’s a bad move at all.

    This is an IDIQ so my suspicion is that the Army will move forward with the intent to replace all M4s, hit a brick wall of reality, and we’ll end up with the M5 in a hybrid DMR role with 1-2 per fire team. But they may decide simplifying their logistics chain matters more than reality and make this the standard issue. It’s anyone’s guess at this point, and could easily change with the next administration or even new leadership within DoD.
     

    smokey0118

    2A TEACHER
    Jan 31, 2008
    28,398
    Actually kinda shocked they are fonsidering replacing M4s with this. IMO it's a good DMR and probably the ultimate AR10. The round couud replace 7.62 NATO in M240s, and end up most places where the added range, penetration and lethality os needed. For urban fighting, especially with a 3rd world enemy, I think a lighter 5# platform with K-can, optics and shorter barrels in a good sub 300m load like 300BO or even something heavy in 5.56 like MK262 might be better than a 10# monster with 20rd mags.
    I still think using sig cases for a 80,000psi grendel would be a solid move. Performance should be awesome, you'd still have 25 rnd mags, and you'd still have an ar15 sized rifle.
     

    woodline

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Jan 8, 2017
    1,891
    I still think using sig cases for a 80,000psi grendel would be a solid move. Performance should be awesome, you'd still have 25 rnd mags, and you'd still have an ar15 sized rifle.
    Successful application of the Sig case (not sure if that is even theirs or if they licensed it from the guys who’ve been advertising something nearly identical for years) and barrel treatment process to other cartridges may be the coolest thing to come out of this whole project. I was actually thinking the LWRC 6.8 slightly upsized AR platform would be a great use for this approach. Still get 30 round mags, could probably use a 90-110 grain projectile.

    Lot of other potential implications out there. The prospect of getting .308 performance out of 7.62x39 is pretty interesting to me. Higher pressure 6.5 grendel ammo would be sweet. Maybe we can get some hot .44 magnum performance out of 10mm, or actual .357 magnum performance out of 9mm. Who knows. It’s pretty incremental compared to caseless ammo or even the polymer cased stuff from true velocity, but it’s an advance.
     

    camo556

    Active Member
    Aug 29, 2021
    1,781
    I don’t normally watch his videos, but took the time in this case. His thoughts mirror mine: great rifle, really cool cartridge, pretty sure it isn’t a good choice for standard issue.

    In the battlefield of the future, apparently everyone we engage at CQB distances will be fully encased in level 4 body armor and all the walls of structures we fight in will be made of 4 inch thick steel. Definitely won’t be any civcas when this butt stomping cartridge blows through a bad guy and half his kids a few rooms over, or when guys miss the follow up shots and send a not so controlled pair through several houses.

    I think 6.8x51 is a wonderful 7.62x51 replacement and strongly support its adoption for that purpose. I am actually holding off on a new short action hunting rifle because I want it to be chambered in this. Would love a 12-16” suppressed light weight bolt action for hunting anything up to elk out to 400 yards. But for shooting bad guys, this is a weird choice. Especially since the war in Ukraine has shown us that Russian troops put cardboard in their plate carriers. That leaves China, except their unofficial stance on body armor is that having to use it “demoralizes the troops” (aka we don’t want to pay for it and they aren’t going to wear it anyway).

    Whatever, we’re sticking with intermediate cartridges for now, kids 20 years younger than me can lug this crap around.
    The battlefield of the future is autonomous drones vs autonomous drones, coded by nerds in an underground bunker. We will need something a lot bigger than 6.8x51. Wait, the future is now.

    The main problem with this rifle is that the military is always too busy trying to win the last war.
     

    jrumann59

    DILLIGAF
    Feb 17, 2011
    11,598
    Can it stop a terminator? That should be the question with all the AI, drone development with AI, it may sound trope-ish but that is where we are heading.
     

    Park ranger

    Active Member
    Dec 6, 2015
    1,834
    I still think using sig cases for a 80,000psi grendel would be a solid move. Performance should be awesome, you'd still have 25 rnd mags, and you'd still have an ar15 sized rifle.
    Think there is enough meat on the bolt face to handle that? I don't think it can handle 60ksi
     

    alucard0822

    For great Justice
    Oct 29, 2007
    16,215
    PA
    Successful application of the Sig case (not sure if that is even theirs or if they licensed it from the guys who’ve been advertising something nearly identical for years) and barrel treatment process to other cartridges may be the coolest thing to come out of this whole project. I was actually thinking the LWRC 6.8 slightly upsized AR platform would be a great use for this approach. Still get 30 round mags, could probably use a 90-110 grain projectile.

    Lot of other potential implications out there. The prospect of getting .308 performance out of 7.62x39 is pretty interesting to me. Higher pressure 6.5 grendel ammo would be sweet. Maybe we can get some hot .44 magnum performance out of 10mm, or actual .357 magnum performance out of 9mm. Who knows. It’s pretty incremental compared to caseless ammo or even the polymer cased stuff from true velocity, but it’s an advance.
    High pressure calibers with a smaller diameter/higher BC / heavy for caliber load optimization is the future. It's happening with 30 super in handguns, 277 fury in rifles, and the upcoming 338 fury. Ideally you end up with slimmer cartridges that maximize case volume and pressure to increase capacity and equal performance of the larger cartridge it replaces. It also allows an opportunity for new gas management designs, a simple variable regulator like shotguns have used forever could potentially allow a rifle to function with a massive range of pressures. Could do something like the new 8.6 blackout with really heavy 350gr subs in conventional brass with light charges and low pressure, then swap to a 200gr 80K PSI load that smokes 308 in every way at range. In many cases you could use a couple different case dimensions to replace dozens of individual calibers by using a wider range of pressures.
     

    lazarus

    Active Member
    Jun 23, 2015
    8,752
    The steel case heads help a lot with that.
    And to add, you'd need to replace uppers, but there is no reason you couldn't design a slightly larger bolt, it just wouldn't be compatible with AR-15 barrel extensions and probably not upper receivers either. You could probably have it work with existing lowers.

    But a 6.5 Grendel at 60k PSI, running 90gr bullets similar to the M855A1/M80A1 design would probably make a VERY good light armor penetrator and extend the range a reasonable enough amount over what M855A1 in an M4/M16/M249 can do.

    Run 120-130gr in a DMR 20" rifle at those pressures and you've got something with less light armor capability at shorter distances, but you also have something that can reasonable reach out to >1000yds (heck, current 6.5 grendel out of a 20" barrel running 123gr TBTHP rounds can do that, but upping the pressure more will just increase accuracy, extend MPBR and hitting power). And then you have ammo compatibility across the entire squad. And you can run 30 round mags making them only slightly longer than existing 5.56 STANAGs.

    PS And with a steel base, you might not need a different bolt. Some guys run 60k PSI over pressure 6.5 grendel in their ARs without things blowing up. I highly doubt their bolt life is going to be anything to write home about. Its less of a concern in bolt guns that have a lot more support because they aren't limited by AR-15 bolt dimensions. I won't be handloading anything that hot. I stick to published max pressures.
     

    TheBert

    The Member
    MDS Supporter
    Aug 10, 2013
    6,043
    Gaithersburg, Maryland
    The new Sig belt fed in 6.8x51 is supposed to be pretty great, and the army is apparently working through the cost/benefit analysis of rebarreling existing 240s in 6.8 as well. I don’t think that’s a bad move at all.

    This is an IDIQ so my suspicion is that the Army will move forward with the intent to replace all M4s, hit a brick wall of reality, and we’ll end up with the M5 in a hybrid DMR role with 1-2 per fire team. But they may decide simplifying their logistics chain matters more than reality and make this the standard issue. It’s anyone’s guess at this point, and could easily change with the next administration or even new leadership within DoD.

    What about all of the propositioned ammo around the world? Changing cartridges has a huge cost.
     

    woodline

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Jan 8, 2017
    1,891
    What about all of the propositioned ammo around the world? Changing cartridges has a huge cost.
    Your concern is valid, but I’m sure that same thing was said about .30-06

    I’m approaching this from a “they’re doing it anyway” perspective at this point. Because it’s done. I think what we had was just fine, but no one asked me unfortunately.
     

    woodline

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Jan 8, 2017
    1,891
    I don't see 6.8x51 lasting. I think the Army will be back to .30-06 in no time.
    Give it a few years. The geniuses at TRADOC will soon be proselytizing the benefits of 12” suppressed .375 cheytac improved semi auto battle rifles to defeat Russian “body armor.”
     

    jrumann59

    DILLIGAF
    Feb 17, 2011
    11,598
    The weird thing is some of the stories I am reading a lot of the russians have either nothing in their carriers or substitutes like cardboard or road signs.
     

    woodline

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Jan 8, 2017
    1,891
    The weird thing is some of the stories I am reading a lot of the russians have either nothing in their carriers or substitutes like cardboard or road signs.
    It’s true. Regular Russian troops aren’t well equipped and in any case, getting the next best thing to conscripts to wear heavy plates is harder than you think.
     

    jrumann59

    DILLIGAF
    Feb 17, 2011
    11,598
    And to add, you'd need to replace uppers, but there is no reason you couldn't design a slightly larger bolt, it just wouldn't be compatible with AR-15 barrel extensions and probably not upper receivers either. You could probably have it work with existing lowers.

    But a 6.5 Grendel at 60k PSI, running 90gr bullets similar to the M855A1/M80A1 design would probably make a VERY good light armor penetrator and extend the range a reasonable enough amount over what M855A1 in an M4/M16/M249 can do.

    Run 120-130gr in a DMR 20" rifle at those pressures and you've got something with less light armor capability at shorter distances, but you also have something that can reasonable reach out to >1000yds (heck, current 6.5 grendel out of a 20" barrel running 123gr TBTHP rounds can do that, but upping the pressure more will just increase accuracy, extend MPBR and hitting power). And then you have ammo compatibility across the entire squad. And you can run 30 round mags making them only slightly longer than existing 5.56 STANAGs.

    PS And with a steel base, you might not need a different bolt. Some guys run 60k PSI over pressure 6.5 grendel in their ARs without things blowing up. I highly doubt their bolt life is going to be anything to write home about. Its less of a concern in bolt guns that have a lot more support because they aren't limited by AR-15 bolt dimensions. I won't be handloading anything that hot. I stick to published max pressures.
    The NGSW adoption will be interesting, i mean to get the effective range out of an 11 inch barrel is insane. But the expected barrel life will be interesting to see.
     

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