Army Considers 6.5mm For Its Future Battle Rifle

BY Herschel Smith
9 months ago

Kitup at Military.com.

The U.S. Army’s chief of staff recently made a bold promise that future soldiers will be armed with weapons capable of delivering far greater lethality than any existing small arms.

[ … ]

As Milley was speaking, Textron Systems officials were showing off their new Intermediate Case-Telescoped Carbine, chambered for 6.5mm on the AUSA exhibition floor.

Textron’s cased-telescoped ammunition relies on a plastic case rather than a brass one to hold the propellant and the projectile, like a conventional shotgun shell.

The ICTC is a closed bolt, forward feed, gas piston operated weapon, weighing 8.3 pounds. The 6.5mm case-telescoped ammunition weighs 35 percent less and offers 30 percent more lethality than 7.62mm x 51mm brass ammunition, Textron officials maintain.

“I think the most important thing is what we have been able to do with the intermediate caliber, the 6.5mm in this case,” Wayne Prender, vice president of Textron’s Control & Surface Systems Unmanned Systems told Military.com. “We are able to not only provide a weight reduction … and all the things that come with it – we are also able to provide increased lethality because of the ability to use a more appropriate round.”

Textron officials maintain they are using a low-drag “representative” 6.5mm bullet while U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, or ARDEC, is developing the actual projectile.

“We actually used three different bullet shapes and we scaled it,” said Paul Shipley, program manager for of Unmanned Systems. “We scaled 5.56mm up, we scaled 7.62mm down and took a low-drag shape and ran that between the two” to create the 125 grain 6.5mm bullet that’s slightly longer than the Army’s new 130 grain M80A1 Enhanced Performance Round.

Textron officials maintain that the new round retains more energy at 1,200 meters than the M80A1. At that distance, the 6.5mm has an impact-energy of 300 foot pounds compared to the M80A1 which comes in at about 230 foot pounds of energy, Textron officials maintain.

“The increased lethality we are referring to has to do with the energy down range,” Shipley said. “You can take whatever kind of bullet you want, compare them and it’s going to have increased energy down range.”

Okay, so let me get this straight.  The Army doesn’t know how to shoot as it is, and while focusing on racial diversity, gender issues, gays in the military, women in combat arms, and declining physical standards, are going to teach young boys and girls in the “Big Army” how to shoot 1200 meters with a battle rifle that will have a larger punch (to the shooter), be more physically demanding to shoot, and have no civilian analogue?

Consider.  Most of the real advancements to weapons design are made in the civilian market.  PMags came from the civilian market.  The 6.5mm Creedmoor came from the civilian market.  Less weighty rails and barrel shrouds came from the civilian market.  I could go on, but you get the point.  The military is the beneficiary of what happens in the civilian world, no vice versa (this is one reason I think that the limitation on civilian ownership of machine guns will eventually weaken the military, because no one is designing an open bolt system that gets vetted by the civilian market).

If you’re in the military, you use what you’re given.  If you are not, you get to spend your money however you want, and you do the research necessary to find the best product that meets your needs.   Innovation is driven in the market, not by the military.  If a company designs a poor product for the civilian market, it gets called crap ten thousand times over the forums and people don’t buy it.  The company goes out of business.

I see much pain if big army goes down this road.  They will have recoil issues, parts breakage, no one to whom they can turn for counsel who has actually shot this thing before, ammunition problems, accuracy problems, and on and on it goes.  I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.  If the military wanted this to work, they would have to vet it in the civilian market first.

But it all looks like a solution in search of a problem to me.


Comments

  1. On October 17, 2017 at 12:18 am, DAN III said:

    “The ICTC….weighing 8.3 pounds….”

    NAKED !

    Weight alone is a loser for me.

  2. On October 17, 2017 at 6:41 am, Fred said:

    The Army is schizophrenic. Every month it’s some new thing with no cohesive plan.

  3. On October 17, 2017 at 8:39 am, Heywood said:

    You can wheel the nicest set of SnapOn tools in a beautiful box and wheel it up to the car. If you don’t have a good mechanic to turn the wrench, it’s nothing but a big beautiful paper weight!

  4. On October 17, 2017 at 9:41 am, Pat Hines said:

    As a hard rock southern nationalist, I”m enjoying the decline of the US government’s military quite a lot.

    The entire US government is steaming, reeking pile.

  5. On October 17, 2017 at 11:44 am, June said:

    Why are the retards comparing the 6.5 to the 7.62 instead of the .556 which is the current round? Instead of saying this 6.5 round weighs less than the 7.62 shouldn’t the comparison be how much more it weighs than the .556?

    I agree – spend more time teaching accurate fire with existing platform will be more lethal and cost the taxpayers a lot less money than buying a new platform and all the associated ammo, gear, tools and training that will be required.

  6. On October 17, 2017 at 2:59 pm, jean said:

    The first line says it all…I am still laughing

  7. On October 17, 2017 at 7:24 pm, Chris Spratt said:

    Read “Taking back the infantry half kilometer” Most of the studies since WWII point to 6.5mm being the optimum military round for range and lethality. 7.62×51 was forced on NATO by the US for economic reasons, then 5.56 because I have no idea. Finally we’ll get a better round.

  8. On October 18, 2017 at 2:01 am, Yoda said:

    @June: The 6.5 cased telescoped cartridge is about 40% heavier than the current 5.56 cartridge. If you consider also the magazine, it will be 50% heavier. See here: https://www.google.ro/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiK4ufHzPnWAhVCJ1AKHUfJCNoQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.popularmechanics.com%2Fmilitary%2Fresearch%2Fnews%2Fa27414%2Fplastic-ammo-textron-cased-telescope%2F&psig=AOvVaw0WBaHMBrTqjeDvGRQB-f2_&ust=1508396382317193

  9. On October 18, 2017 at 11:46 am, Michael Gladius said:

    The 5.56 has a number of advantages over both 6.5 and 7.62, which make it better for an individual weapon, particularly as an assault rifle; namely, it’s light and compact. Assault rifles are meant to be used at close range (<300m), and replaced sub-machine guns for close-in assaults. In urban combat/trench warfare, this is still relevant.

    Textron found that they could shorten and lighten their cartridges further, but the individual diameters become wider. So they can only do a 20-round magazine, instead of 30-rounds. For close-quarters combat, those extra 10 rounds matter more than the negligible savings in weight. This is also why they are marketing the 6.5 mm battle rifle instead of the 5.56 assault rifle: they need to compensate for the smaller magazine with harder-hitting ammo. But replacing assault rifles with battle rifles brings us back to 1957, when the M14 began to face off against the AK-47.

    This telescoped technology might be better for belt-fed weapons. Sweden recently did tests with M240s, and found that the telescoped ammo (800 rds) and its gun were 27 pounds lighter than gun with brass ammo. So instead of replacing the M16/M4 carbine, this technology might revolutionize LMGs. That would be a better debate over 7.62 vs 6.5 mm.

  10. On October 18, 2017 at 8:12 pm, Fred 2 said:

    The weight makes it a non starter.
    Plus as was pointed out how will weaker personnel with a significant female personnel fill operate a 8.3 lbs (empty) rifle with more recoil as “well” as a M4/M16?
    Not going to happen.
    Yet another bad idea that will go the way of the Dodo.

  11. On October 20, 2017 at 12:46 am, Ned said:

    I wonder how much these endless and unfulfilled “ideas” cost us taxpayers.

    Meanwhile, the converged Navy can’t seem to keep from being hit by container ships. It appears that Herschel identified the biggest problems our military is facing, and “caliber” doesn’t happen to be relevant to the Army’s rifles.

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You are currently reading "Army Considers 6.5mm For Its Future Battle Rifle", entry #17893 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Army,Firearms,Guns and was published October 16th, 2017 by Herschel Smith.

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