6 Feb 14

Rifle Caliber Trends:

I talked today with a friend who works in nuclear security at a major installation.

He is proposing to his superiors converting all existing ARs, currently chambered in 5.56×45 (223), to 7.62×35 (300 Blk) caliber. It will involve swapping barrels only. Existing magazines will all work, as will existing bolts and bolt-carriers. The entire project can be accomplished quickly, and at modest cost, when compared with buying new rifles.

Selling points are significantly increased range and penetration. They’ll be using a new, 112gr copper/tungsten bullet, designed to easily penetrate car doors, car glass, cinder block, and most body armor, even that which is currently “rifle-rated!” Penetration is efficacious, out to 300m!

Naturally, there is some institutional push-back from those up the food-chain who need additional convincing, but advantages over conventional 223 ammunition are so significant that I predict this “trend” (if that is the right word) will prove unstoppable!

This is all what the 6.8mmSPC was supposed to do, and probably would have! But, for whatever reasons, the 6.8mm never gained traction. The 6.8 currently has a small following in the civilian shooting community, but major institutional buyers, like the Pentagon and other big, federal consumers, never displayed much more than casual interest.

And, the 7.62×51 (308) still has a substantial following within the active services, and many secretly long for the return of the M14 in general-issue. However, that is not in the cards! The 308 will not make a major “comeback,” absent an epochal philosophical shift at the highest levels. Right now, that is extremely unlikely!

By contrast, the 7.62×35 is rapidly “catching-on!”

Currently, I don’t have a rifle chambered for it, but I will soon!