14 Nov 19

Next Generation Squad Weapons (NGSW)

I had been told some time ago that DOD had settled on Remington’s 6.8SPC (6.8×43) as the successor to the
existing 5.56×45 (in whatever generation of “wonder-bullet” we’re currently in).

It looks as if that information was premature!

The “6.8″ part is right, but DOD has apparently not yet settled on the actual cartridge.

The “6.8 NGSW,” in whatever form it finally materializes, will have to meet velocity and bullet-weight specifications dictated by DOD. The Army wants it all to be possible out of a 16″ barrel, but a 20″ barrel may be necessary!

SIG’s offering, the “6.8×51,” features a “bi-metal” case. Others feature a metal/plastic “composite” case.

The idea is that this new cartridge, with rifles and GPMGs chambered for it will represent an “overmatch” with regard to equipment used by likely opponents.

It will be first issued to front-line troops, while weapons chambered for the current 5.56×45 will remain with rear-echelon units.

We’ll thus have a two-tier system, probably for decades!

My comments, as a Vietnam-era Infantry Officer:

What concerns me about “composite” cartridges cases is heat!

Much heat is actually carried away from modern military autoloading rifles in ejected, hot brass cases.

This is why “caseless” ammunition has never worked, and probably never will. There is no place for the heat to go!

I’m thus concerned with “composite” rifle cases!

Has anyone considered the overheating issue?

With regard to terminal ballistics, different practitioners have different needs:

1. Target competitors only need the bullet to penetrate all the way through a thin piece of cardboard in order to be “successful!”

Why their needs even come up is a mystery to me!

2. Big-game hunters need a rapidly-fatal terminal effect, so we don’t spend the rest of the day chasing wounded game.

3. Likewise, infantrymen need a “rapidly-disabling” terminal effect, so that the affected combatant is quickly and permanently out of the fight, and thus no longer represents a threat.

4. Snipers need a milder “casualty-causing” effect, because their job is merely to “manufacture casualties” at long range.

From someone who, in 1968, grew weary of watching enemy combatants get hit by our rifle fire, go down, then get back up seconds later, I think we (finally) need rifle ammunition that:

A. Takes enemy combatants out of the fight, quickly and permanently, right out to 500m in range!

B. Goes through things that people hide behind!

We don’t have that capability now, and haven’t for the last fifty years!