Army says 6.8 desired?


Too Established
The Army has awarded Winchester the contract to manufacture the new 6.8 ammunition as well as re-vamp and manage the Lake City ammunition plant;

Olin Winchester LLC, East Alton, Illinois, was awarded a $28,313,481 fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment contract for production of small caliber ammunition and the operation, maintenance, and modernization of the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant. Bids were solicited via the internet with three received. Work will be performed in Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Independence, Missouri, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 27, 2029. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois is the contracting activity (W52P1J-19-F-0742).

It’s worth noting that Winchester is the company that has paired with Textron to produce their case-telescoped 6.8 ammo. Could speak in favor of the Army liking the rifle prototypes that they’re seeing from Textron, or it could just be that they want Winchester to manage the ammo manufacturing of whichever NGSW system they choose.

Winchester currently is also responsible for manufacturing the 9mm FMJ and JHP ammo for the M17/M18 pistols


Too Established
I think it’s pretty safe to say General Dynamics will not be winning the contract with Bullpup rifles.

That said, here’s a short video of Sig’s NGSW-R entrant dubbed the MCX SPEAR;



Too Established
Part-and-parcel with the announcement of a new chassis precision rifle, Sig has announced that they’re putting their 6.8mm ammo into production for the civilian market, dubbed .277 SIG FURY. Currently awaiting SAAMI approval, expected to be certified by 2020 SHOT Show;


In addition to the rifle, they are commercializing the 6.8mm ammunition developed for the US Army’s Next Generation Squad Weapon program as the 277 SIG FURY round. SIG claims to be getting 3000 FPS velocity from a 16″ barrel when fired from the CROSS. This owes to the cartridge’s three-piece design case which features a steel case and brass head held with a clip. This is the same cartridge design being offered to the military, but now coming to you.

Now the question becomes how long until they chamber their commercial 716 and MCX rifles in the new 277Fury caliber


Too Established
Relevant to this thread;

Army weapons officials awarded prototyping agreements worth roughly $8.7 million each to L3 Harris Technology Inc. and Vortex Optics, according to award notices published Wednesday on
The agreements are expected to last up to five years, but both firms are required to deliver fire control prototypes within seven months, according to the notices.

The Army may award follow-on production contracts or agreements to both firms without the use of further competition procedures, the notices state.

Looks like Vortex and L3 Harris Tech Inc (partnered with Leupold) are the players to put a high-tech optic on either Sig, Textron, or GD’s new rifle. No photos or data on L3’s entry yet, but we have some pictures and details on Vortex’s entrant;


“By combining a unity power 1-8x direct view optic utilizing a first focal plane, etched reticle, a 1km capable laser rangefinder, state of the art on-board ballistic engine, atmospheric sensor suite, and programmable active matrix micro-display overlaid onto the first focal plane, Active Reticle delivers a true multi-mission fire control enabling everything from CQB to designated marksmanship at the extents of the NGSW’s effective range.”

Very interesting capabilities described...I’d be shocked if it costs any less than $5k/unit though
What is their fascination with a 6.8mm caliber? Why avoid the 6.5mm or 7mm diameter?
I think they tried both. I remember reading somewhere that they started with 6.5 and tried 7mm and 6mm but we’re not quite happy. Then either the SF team or AMU said why not they .270? And got what they wanted. Which is funny since now we have 6mm ARC
I've posted this a few times, but these are the highlights of their findings. I find it fascinating everyone trash talks 6.8mm projectiles, yet most have never actually used any to kill living things. Traditional ballistics only looked at exterior ballistics without any regard to terminal ballistics. There has been this false assumption that bullet diameter, length etc. plays little role in terminal performance when the findings show that small differences can have notable impacts on actual terminal performance.

They tested 6mm, 6.5mm, 6.8mm, 7mm and 7.62mm. 6mm/6.5mm provided the best overall accuracy, while 7mm proved to be the most destructive to the target. 6.8mm provided accuracy that was close to 6.5mm but damage that was closer to 7mm. It walked the line between the extremes. That's why the NGSW project specifies a 6.8mm projectile in the 130-140gr range. They are basically looking to modernize .270 Winchester so it can be used in a more compact case and with more compact platforms.

6.8 SPC was more or less the proof of concept that demonstrated these realities. If you question 6.8 SPC's capabilities or accuracy, go over to the 68forums and see how it stacks up against 5.56, 6.5G etc. It's a very accurate cartridge, I get MOA with just factory ammunition. Hand-loaders regularly get down to 1/2 MOA...a few custom loads like Wilson Combat's are sub-moa.

Of the intermediate sized cartridges, it is the most broadly effective. 1. most consistent barrier blind performance 2. provides fragmentation ranges approx. 2x that of 5.56 (for hunting or tactical) 3. Accuracy that is as good or superior to 5.56 4. 25rds capacity vs. 28rds (thumbnail rule) 5. at 600 yards it's pushing almost 50% more KE. 6. At 600 yards it has the same momentum as 5.56 does at just 200 yards

It's a great cartridge for what it is.


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Yeah, the minute you bring up 6.8 SPC in this, I'm out. I'm happy you like it but the tangent compared to 5.56 is OLD news. There's more to it than mere bullet diameter. Might as well be praising the .30 cal bullet in the 300 Norma by talking about 300 Blackout...not apples to apples.

What was unknown to me at the time I posted above is that the 6.8mm bullets in question were not anything we've really seen yet in the commercial world, and when you spend this kind of coin, you get to say what you want and someone will make it so.

In the end, not my circus...not my monkey.
.270 Cal (6.8mm) based cartridges available:

.270 Winchester (since 1923)
270 WSM (Short Mag, since 2002)
6.8 SPC (2008ish for public release)
6.8 Western (big game cartridge that just came out in 2020)

Bullet size, shape, mass and velocity matters to a degree. It all depends on the application and balancing the following factors:
1. Ammunition capacity
2. Recoil impulse characteristics (muzzle rise, rearward thrust, flash and blast)
3. Accuracy (not much difference between most intermediate cartridges, biggest factors in practical shooting are drop and drift over distance)
3. Platform weight (AR-15 vs. AR-10 frames etc.)
4. Lethality, how big of a hole does it make, the bigger the hole, the more rapid the blood loss and the greater the pressure wave impulse, the faster the target is incapacitated with non-CNS hits (highly unlikely under combat conditions)
5. Barrier blind performance, always favors bigger and heavier bullets traveling at similar or higher velocities. 110gr 6.8 SPC or 124gr 7.62 projectiles for example can loose 50% of it's mass through auto glass...and you still have a 55gr or larger projectile mass hitting on the target other side which is an entire 5.56 bullet. Sometimes, there's just no replacement for displacement.

Otherwise, why do we need .50 BMG in the MA Deuc or M82A1? Why do we use 7.62x51 NATO? Or any other cartridge? Why not just use 5.56 for everything because...supposedly it doesn't matter.

Obviously that is satire and it is ridiculous. Different tools have different properties. If you actually read any of the information I provided above, it is well PROVEN that full caliber, intermediate cartridges do offer significant and legitimate advantages over small caliber intermediate cartridges in several metrics.

It does not mean they full caliber intermediate cartridges are better in all applications and all properties of them are better, it does not mean we should all stop using 5.56, but the question is, which ones are better suited to the task at hand and can you effectively employ them? 5.56 is simply NOT ideal for it's application. I can work and does, but it has limitations like anything and SOME of those limitations will NEVER be overcome by better ammunition, you simply have to step up to a larger case size (more powder = more energy) and a larger bullet diameter with more mass.


As civilians, we have a choice. I field 5.56 because it's a standard, it's affordable, lightweight and easy to use. I primarily use 5.56 for training purposes for the cost / availability factors and as a backup where ammunition cross-compatibility might be a big factor. I use 6.8 SPC as my duty cartridge BECAUSE of the immense amount of development and testing that has proven full caliber intermediates to be more ideal for infantry use out to 600 yards (although I'm far more concerned about CQB performance than mid-range performance outside of SHTF), the immense amount of hunting use applications (many of whom also use 5.56, 6.5 and other calibers) which also corroborates the findings by the military. You simply cannot prove this to be wrong. Period.


Still not sure why you're talking about 6.8SPC in this thread...
I'm beginning to question if you understand this whole NGSW thing and that it's got nothing to do with 6.8SPC.

I perhaps should have clarified that .270/6.8mm did not have the efficient, high-BC bullets that were available in 6, 6.5, 7, 7.62mm
Getting back to the topic of this thread, the NGSW project, the 6.8mm NGSW bullet requirement will improve upon the 6.8 SPC results further in terms of terminal performance, range, trajectory, but it is NOT intended to replace 5.56 NATO as the internet rumor mills indicate and certainly does not equate to CQB / mid-range utility of 6.8 SPC, 7.62x39 etc. 6.8mm NGSW is based upon the performance capabilities of 6.8 SPC scaled up to a full power cartridge, especially as over match to 7.62x51mm / 7.62x54R for longer range applications and for use against even the most advanced body armor at extended ranges. It's a DMR (Army new HK417 based DMR) or full caliber Squad Auto (240B) type application.


What ever of the three designs they settle on (Sig's .270 Fury, Textron's Telescoping or General Dynamics Polymer Cased), it is supposed to be pushing a 130-140gr 6.8mm (.270 cal) bullet at 3,000 FPS like a 24" barreled .270 Winchester would, but they are doing that from a much more compact barrel / platform and a shorter cartridge similar to a 7.62x51mm OAL. .270 Sig Fury can push 130gr at 3000 fps from a 16" barrel, but at 80k psi chamber pressure, so I can only image throat erosion / wear for that level performance, it's just one of the three examples that achieve the same goal in different ways.

There are plenty of .270 cal bullets with high BC's similar to 7.62mm. They are looking for a flatter trajectory than 7.62mm, but more terminal performance than 6mm or 6.5mm can offer. 6.8mm projectiles ride the line between the two. The 6.8 SPC testing and development showed the balance between terminal performance and exterior ballistics of projectiles in that size / shape range to be ideal for combat use against point targets.
It relates to 6.8 SPC because the testing and development of that cartridge served as the basis for the 6.8mm projectile requirement. Similar BC's (drop, drift) to 6mm / 6.5mm, similar damage to 7mm (most destructive to the target in their testing). I provided some of the original data I dug up to illustrate that point. Then you made a comment about 6.8 SPC and your out...

Everyone keeps questioning, why 6.8mm (.270)...well the DoD testing indicated that for velocity ranges from around 1500 FPS up to 3000 FPS, 6.8mm or .270 cal projectiles provided the best balance between drop / drift and damage to the target. High BC bullets slip through soft tissue like they do through air. Soft tissue largely follows fluid flow dynamics, very similar to gas flow dynamics.

Aero dynamic projectiles have lower drag while penetrating the target just like they do when traveling through the air. Exterior Ballistics vs. Terminal Performance. Exterior Ballistics favors longer, smaller diameter projectiles (6mm, 6.5mm), but they simply do not develop the level of drag in target to have ideal levels of damage.

7mm projectiles provided ideal drag when penetrating the target (but obviously their drop / drift when using the same case capacity as a 6 or 6.5mm projectile is not as ideal). 6.8 rode the balance the best. 6.8 NGSW is scaled up 6.8 SPC or modernized .270 Winchester, but from shorter barrels than .270 Win. That's the relevance to 6.8 SPC in terms of picking the overall projectile dimensions.

It appears to me they are then transplanting the M855A1 bullet design over to the new 6.8mm projectile shape / length / mass / cartridge, similar to how they scaled M855A1 projectile to 7.62x51mm with the new M80A1 load. May seem convoluted, but it makes sense as they are merging all of the best capabilities and characteristics they can into one full power cartridge.

.270 Winchester like trajectory, M80A1 like terminal performance (about 3x that of 5.56 M855A1) with similar recoil, but AP capabilities beyond either.