U.S. Army: Goodbye 5.56, hello 6.8mm hybrid
Big Green has been looking at shrinking the weight of small arms ammo for decades. The theory is: the lighter it weighs, the more can be carried or sent in resupply, making each warfighter more deadly. This has included polymer cased ammo (don’t laugh, the Marines have been buying millions of rounds of polymer .50 cal for years) and more exotic telescoping cased rounds.
In 2016, the the Army started shopping hard for a new Next Generation Squad Weapon-Rifle (NGSW-R), a replacement for the M4/M4A1 carbine; and the Next Generation Squad Weapon-Automatic Rifle (NGSW-AR), which would take the place currently held by the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon. Both would be in an updated 6.8mm chambering that would be up to the manufacturer to develop with ammunition industry partners.
Now don’t think this is existing 6.8mm Remington or similar, but something totally different.
At least 37 different arms makers looked at the NGSW program, and five submitted prototype systems last year.
In the past week, three got down-selected to continue: AAI Corporation/Textron Systems in Hunt Valley, Maryland; General Dynamics-OTS Inc. in Williston, Vermont; and Sig Sauer in Newington, New Hampshire. While Gen Dyn has Heckler & Koch as well as Winchester-Olin on board to help carry the load, Sig is going all-in and striking out alone.
They have released the most information on their submissions and they look pretty sweet:
More in my column at Guns.com