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Constructor and Nativeman are correct.

I’ve been one of those guys. And I still work with those guys. The payload hasn’t gotten any lighter. The new LBV (equivalent) is lighter, but is offset and overtaken by the increased weight of armor, NOD/thermal and comm load. Everything they use now takes a battery, and while battery tech has grown exponentially, they’re still heavy. Heavy enough and in quantity enough to offset everything else. The last thing they need is heavier, and therefore reduced, ammo.
I feel they’re looking for an answer to a problem that has been solved by 6.8SPC/M855A1 and/or Mk318 Mod 0. This is a mistake.
But what do I know? I’m just a washed up grunt on the internet enjoying too much bourbon on Turkey day.
Happy Thanksgiving, y’all.
 

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.....
The payload hasn’t gotten any lighter. The new LBV (equivalent) is lighter, but is offset and overtaken by the increased weight of armor, NOD/thermal and comm load. Everything they use now takes a battery, and while battery tech has grown exponentially, they’re still heavy. Heavy enough and in quantity enough to offset everything else. ....
The old "a bigger, lightweight ruck to carry more lightweight gear!"

It's always some beancounter in an air conditioned, carpeted office somewhere that has the grunt's best interest in mind.

Great reading here:
Publication Font Book Book cover Signage
 
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You pile up two dozen different rifle/cartridge/ammo design combinations and have a Tier 1 or Tier 2 team able to choose from any in the pile they will almost always choose the lightest rifle/ammo combination they believe will do the job. While their SDM may carry a 338 Lapua or 50 BMG and machine gunner a 7.62×51 instead of 5.56 if majority of team thinks they can complete a mission with an 11.5" 5.56 or even a 9mm MP5 over one of the new SIG 6.8×51s they will select the lighter weapon and double up on ammo load out.

I see the need for the new weapon but not to replace the average grunts use. I would procure enough of the new 6.8×51s to allow teams who need them to have easy access. In turn I would bring in all the issued M4s and freshen them up while converting to 6.8 spc II along with SAWs. Would take majority of M14s stockpiled and modernize them a bit while rebarreling them in 6.5 Creedmoor and be done. Swapping all troops to the new SIG just doesn't seem to make sense when look at the weight.

I now have 24 6.8 spc IIs and parts to build another half dozen or more already sorted. I think its the best all around muzzle to 450 yard multipurpose selections there. But as previous poster mentioned new ammo selections has had me lean back toward 5.56 again more than had used past decade. In lock of both my trucks, wifes truck and staged around the house currently have 5.56 rifles with 60 round magazines loaded with M855A1. I happen to have lucked out and was able to acquire over 10,000 rounds of M855A1 plus over 25,000 pulled M855A1 projectiles.

If didn't have the M855A1 almost every place a 5.56 has found its way back would all be 6.8s. XM68GD is almost unobtainable and commercial 6.8 a bit expensive especially Lehigh and other specialty flavors. My most driven truck has a 5.56 and 6.8 in locks behind seat and bedside rack has both choices. If military had stuck with 6.8 and developed enough specialty projectiles to support it everything would be 6.8 but I only have about 1,200 factory loaded 6.8 AP rounds put back. I would take 90 grain 6.8 Gold Dots over 5.56 M855 but M855A1 is a very effective round and increases ammo loadout 25% for same weight over 6.8.

Hunting will take the 6.8 everytime, same with zombies that don't have armor. Issue is so many people have armor now have to weigh that in and why as long as I have M855A1 will consider the 5.56 a viable cartridge again. Only companies I know making high end military grade 6.8 spc II are only selling to military and none is filtering into civilian hands since the SIG 6.8×51 aka 277 Fury became the front running cartridge in USGI selection process. Can harvest anything from ground hogs to elk with 6.8 spc II. The 5.56 runs out of steam for game the size of elk and unless have speciality ammo the 6.8 is a better one shot man stopper.
 

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I have been reading @ 5 years now that the US Military was going to switch to 6.8. Is that a rumor?
The intent of the new "Next Generation Squad Weapon" (NGSW) was to give frontline combat soldiers a much more powerful weapon to penetrate modern body armor and to give a much longer effective range. Whether it will actually go to all "close combat" soldiers or only to a few is anyone's guess. The goal of the NGSW was very different from the 6.8 SPC. The SPC was intended as a direct replacement for the 5.56x45 providing improved performance against unarmored opponents at short and medium range.

The performance of the new 6.8 NGSW round is about the same as the 270 Winchester Short Magnum out of longer (machine gun) barrels and at least that of a typical 270 Win hunting rifle when shot out of a short (13") barreled carbine.

The winner of the competition was SIG with "hybrid" case that has a steel base that will run at somewhere around 75,000 to 80,000psi. The new cartridge is about the same size as the 308, but with reduced taper and sharper shoulder, kind of a semi-Ackley-Improved shape when compared to the existing 308 case.
 

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Noncomp made good point and a rifle that will defeat armor is definitely of major concern. Most of my "house vests" are currently Gen 3 or Gen 4 IOTV and ran lightweight NIJ 3 or 3+ plates for some time. Then had incident next door where new owners were from Colorado and upon seeing a common black snake in yard suddenly it sounded like a 308 SAW opened up when he did two 30-06 mag dumps. Turned out he had a pair of 20 round and stack of 10 round magazines for his Remington 742 in 30-06.

Unsure of what was going on wife and I had already kitted up when his wife knocked on front door to say they had a snake in back yard, her husband said he couldn't hit it and had waisted almost $100 in ammo trying, did I have a shotgun? Put down my AR 10 with 50 round drum of 7.62×51 M80A1, went to bedside rack picking up a shotgun and all of my vests have 15 rounds 12 gauge on board in case I feel the shotgun is best choice and a 60 round bandoleer hangs near the primary shotgun.

Walked next door to see him with a ten round mag in each back pocket of pants and a reloaded 20 round mag in his 742. Went through gate, saw the black snake, picked him up to make sure was unhurt and took him back to my house and dropped him in a sack to release at work to do mouse patrol duty. Tried to explain to them unless coiled and rattling with a diamond pattern few snakes are deadly and even if bit by rattlesnake few die as have been bit myself. They said only good snake is a dead one as didn't know how to identify but had just proven could not kill a big fat lazy black snake laying out in the sun warming himself with two mag dumps.

Only had one NIJ 4 vest at the time but soon had four vests upgraded to NIJ 3+/ICW 4 and NIJ 4 stand alone plates when realized next door neighbor did the spray and pray thing with minimal success and we shared a fenceline. Since have realized how many people use deer rifles for double duty defense and most vests have NIJ 4 capability. In the field for a combat scenario almost have to expect for opposing force to have armor these days.

On my vest equipped for 6.8 spc II I have three magazines that carry ammo rated to defeat NIJ 4 armor out to 100 yards. I got a pile on a LEO letter back years ago but don't have that option anymore and since 90% of the manufacturers output goes to the Middle East (Saudis like their 6.8s) and they don't want to spend the money it costs to get USGI contacts I never see any flowing from military or law enforcement sources into civilian hands so what I have is likely all I will ever have. Thus the number of rifles around the Ponderosa loaded with 7.62 M80A1 and 5.56 M855A1.

Have a six long gun locking rack bolted next to headboard of bed. First in line is a 13.7" Noveske 6.8 with Flaming Pig flash can, SIG Romeo 4T night vision compatible optic and Streamlight combination I.R. laser aiming device and tactical light based on which direction flip the switch. Second in rack is a 12.5" ARP 6.8 with suppressor and same optics as number one. Number 3 slot is a G3 with iron sights and number four is another G3 with 6x night vision scope. Number five is a 16" AR 10 with night vision compatible 1-10x LPVO and final slot has a Rhodesian military/Browning police model shotgun. Grab what need, the 6.8 vest is hanging on front of master bath door, G3 vest on back of bedroom door and the AR 10 vest is close.

Wifes side of bed has 5.56 equipped vest and two 5.56 rifle selections. We both have a high ear helmet with headsets and NOGs sitting on bed post allowing us to step out of bed, putting on vest, helmet and selecting long gun in under a minute or just grab rifle and go to work in seconds. Have zombies already gotten inside, just odd sounds to investigate, neighbor calls for help, etc and make selection of most appropriate long gun but all have at least a couple mags or more able to defeat armor if needed and low penetration highly destructive ammo like Lehigh Controlled Chaos. Its a new world and if not prepared for your threat to have armor and night vision you may be the loser in a fight.

For military right ammo for most of the team, a SAW gunner and a SDM with a larger rifle such as the new SIG and most teams can meet most mission requirements. Given choice of 5.56 or 6.8 if going out on a patrol I would want 6.8 spc II over 5.56 with proper ammo. Majority of a squad with 6.8 M4s, two SAW Gunners and a SDM should handle most patrols and do it better than 5.56 M4s. I believe 6.8 will give more one round stops than 5.56 can and General "Mad Dog" Maddis along with others that know combat felt the same way.
 
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Hueyville, out of curiosity, does your 6.8 SPC AP ammo look more like M993 with a the tungsten penetrator inside a jacket or more like M80A1 but with an exposed tungsten penetrator? From my understanding, several companies now make exposed-tip AP bullets, but it is rough on feed ramps.*
Thanks

*FWIW, the Army's new M5 rifle uses extremely hard "maraging steel alloy" on the feed ramps for this very reason, according to SIG.
 

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More like M993 and can Google it up but because of way it came to me on an LEO letter given by friendly local sheriff (put three 6.8 spc II ARs in hidden fast access gun lockers of his church only giving access to security team members who passed both the GA LEO handgun and carbine qualification class) I don't show photos or name company it came from. They brought me on to get their church security team properly trained and legal. While Georgia has very liberal gun laws, when it comes to church security teams it is a mine field of regulations and laws inside of a church. Church teams have to meet three times the criteria of a badge carrying cop here and are traps like all team members must have accredited first aid, defribulator operation, sexual preditor identification, blue cards or badges with post training and entire host of courses to meet state law and liability insurance requirements.

The three ARs church bought are all 14.5" pinned muzzle device and each locker has a bandoleer with six spare mags. Two mags in each bandoleer are well marked and loaded with the 6.8 spc II AP. Google "97 grain 6.8 tungsten AP" and will find it. Also available in 75 grain option but in my testing the 97 broke high threat level plates more reliably. I am already working on a project to start if we begin to see SIG 277 Fury/6.8×51 specialty military pulled projectiles. Found enough 7mm pulled projectiles out of Europe was worth a test wanted to do anyway.

Ordered a mid priced 7mm-08 AR 10 barrel and had it reamed for 7mm-08 AI. The projectiles are 140 grain 7mm with bimetal jacket, lead core and hardened steel penetrator. Basically a jumbo M855 bullet and slapped the AI barrel on one of my 7mm-08 AR 10s. Was able to get over 3,000 fps pushing the 140s with penetrators which are fine plate breakers. Bottom line now is everyone has to armor up, opponent upgrades to rifle that breaks their armor then new threat level is adopted and the game repeats. Beginning to sound like a game designed to make lots of money by armor and ammo manufacturers.

So now that I made the test work, am looking for more of the 7mm projectiles (found three different small to medium size lots of pulls) to have enough to keep the 7mm-08 fed. If dot.mil eventually develops a crop of specialty AP, IR low visibility tracer, M80A1/M855A1 type projectiles for the 277 Fury and pulls find their way to market then could neck a 7mm-08 AI down to 6.8-08 AI and build a "poor mans" version of the new 277/6.8-51. The cost of 277 Fury civilian ammo, cost of the SIG rifle to run it is beyond my budget. But let me get a pile of pulls, will hack and whack on an AR 10/SR-25 till have right case to push them fast enough to do most of what the new two piece steel head cased ammo does without the cost.

When get back to work (missed over eight months this year and self employed so no cash flow inbound) my next project is a LAAR like a Noreen BN-36 in 280 AI as a plate breaker. Some of the Lehigh and other specialty bullets from a 280 AI would render NIJ 3 armor to near useless out to 200 to 250 yards. For now my favorite plates are NIJ 3+/ICW 4 in IOTV or similar armor so able to stop threats up to 30-06 and have two sets where each plate is under five pounds to stop Level 4 threats. Every five years I am having to up our armor ability without significantly raising weight while upping our ability to bust the other guys armor as a civilian. Like night vision, to stay a couple generations behind GI issue means upgrading every few years at a fairly high cost or just forget it and hope a 10/22 and marksmanship wins the day.
 
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