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Next-Generation Military Rifle & Ammunition 
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Joined: 31 Mar 2009 11:37
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Post Next-Generation Military Rifle & Ammunition
The US Army Marksmanship Unit’s .264 USA, new intermediate cartridge.

6.5×40 / .264 USA (35 degree shoulder) based on a necked-down and lengthened Russian 7.62×39 case.
The unit's intention for a new intermediate design general purpose replacement of the full power 7.62x51 battle rifle cartridge and small intermediate 5.56 NATO.

7x40 vs. 6.5x40 trials.

Recent conflicts highlighted the inadequate reach of the 5.56x45mm and the limitations of the full power 7.62 NATO. The US Army Marksmanship Unit completed trials in 2012 with their .264/ 6.5 x 40 USA – winning the trial, for a dual purpose intermediate infantry cartridge for selection as a future US Military / NATO, and suitable under the rules of Target and F-FTR match shooting.
“Weight penalty, recoil and magazine capacity advantage for the .264 /6.5mm USA - 7.2 lb rifle recoils less than 7.62 Nato - 9.6 lb of recoil.”

.264/6.5x40 USA - AR12


The insurgent forces opposing the ISAF troops quickly noted this shortfall and began to make more use of their PKM light machine guns and SVD rifles rather than the AKM carbines, since these guns fire the old 7.62x54R Russian round, which is at least as powerful and long-ranged as the 7.62×51 NATO.  The result is that the normally expected 300 meter limit for most small-arms engagements was suddenly extended to 900 meters, with some reports indicating that more than half of the insurgent attacks were being launched from 500 meters or more.  5.56mm weapons were never intended to cope with such long-range engagements, and they cannot effectively do so.
Furthermore, the 5.56mm weapons are much worse at suppression (one of the primary functions of small-arms), partly because the bullets are less likely to pass close by the target due to wind drift, partly because the sonic bang they make is quieter since that is linked to bullet weight.  As a result, 5.56mm fire has little suppressive effect at longer ranges, according to a 2009 British Army study into target suppression in combat.
The result of this range crisis was that ISAF forces rushed their old 7.62×51 weapons back into the infantry squad as quickly as possible, even manually-loaded bolt-action sniper rifles being pressed into service.  Thousands of old self-loading M14 rifles were updated and re-issued to U.S. troops, and new 7.62mm rifles and LMGs have been acquired by several armies.  The existing 7.62mm FN General-Purpose Machine Gun (M240) in common use by ISAF forces made a welcome return to the front line, but with the most unwelcome consequence of increased weight.  Western infantry is already burdened by massive combat loads, and doubling the weight of ammunition belts to be carried just adds to that problem.  But as the PM Soldier Weapons Assessment Team reported in 2010: “lethality trumps weight reduction when extended ranges are required.”
To add insult to injury, the insurgents’ PKM machine gun is only about two-thirds of the weight of the M240, despite having a similar performance.  Some armies have therefore acquired the FN 7.62mm Minimi (MK48) to replace at least part of the 5.56mm inventory, but that does nothing to reduce the ammunition burden.
In summation, recent combat experience has shown that, even with improvements in effectiveness, which are unlikely to prove acceptable across NATO, the 5.56mm cartridge is inadequate at extended small-arms ranges.  This should not have caused any surprise as the little cartridge was never designed for that.  In contrast, the 7.62mm does the job, but is too heavy and generates too much recoil.  So NATO is left carrying two small-arms suites in two calibers, neither of which is satisfactory in providing the basis for a standard rifle and machine gun weapon system.

In 2011-12 AMU also carried out a study into the optimum cartridge for a future infantry carbine, and concluded that the cartridge length and diameter should be greater than 5.56×45, the caliber should be 6.5mm and the muzzle energy around 2,500 J.  Low-drag bullets would be used to provide good long-range performance, enabling the smaller bullet to catch up with and eventually beat the 7.62mm in terms of retained velocity and energy, flatness of trajectory and wind drift.
It isn’t just the U.S. which is conducting such studies.  The Department of Applied Military Science in Canada recently carried out a Small Arms Intermediate Calibre Study as part of their Small Arms Modernization and Small Arms Replacement Projects.  They compared the external ballistics of the 5.56mm and 7.62mm NATO with commercially available 6.5mm and 6.8mm rounds of intermediate power, and concluded that the 6.5mm round firing low-drag bullets delivered by far the best long-range ballistics, including resistance to wind drift.

14 Oct 2016 20:48
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Joined: 31 Mar 2009 11:37
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Post Re: Next-Generation Military Rifle & Ammunition
France to acquire Heckler & Koch's HK416. ... le-5016099
How long will it take before remaining bullpup Nato combatable rifles, are replaced with a truly modern ambidextrous modular rifle. ... ed-forces/

The French military abandoned their FAMAS bullpup rifle rather than attempt to modernise the old rifle at greater cost. Heckler & Koch 416F - French varient, won the selection process at the end of the trial period for a contract at the Oberndorf factory in Germany, worth 102,000 rifles.
The HK416F will be manufactured from "specialised French steel that enhances the weapon's robustness, according to Heckler & Koch."

The HK is a modern modular design which can change to different calibres, should NATO decide on a new cartridge.

06 Nov 2016 14:33

Joined: 12 Aug 2011 12:56
Posts: 363
Post Re: Next-Generation Military Rifle & Ammunition
Vickers M27 416 Civilian Version MR556A1

TIA :mrgreen:

07 Nov 2016 15:48
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