This is intended for people interested in the subject of military guns and their ammunition, with emphasis on automatic weapons.
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gatnerd said...Honestly the best option would be for the Army to choose which 6.8 cartridge design they like the best, and then re-open the competition to new manufacturers for carbines and LMG's in the chosen cartridge in order to get the best possible weapons. While this would delay adoption by a few years, I think the delay would be worth it, given the chosen weapons are likely to serve for 20+ years.
That would be logical, but in this case the problem is that if they chose Textron's polymer-cased-telescoped ammo which requires an entirely new type of gun mechanism, no-one would bother to compete against Textron, which has a 10+ year lead on the development of such systems.
Also, if they chose the TVC polymer case, which appears to be running lower pressures than the others (albeit still high), competitors like SIG would need a longer barrel to reach the required performance, which would basically mean a bullpup layout - and GD are already there.
"That would be logical, but in this case the problem is that if they chose Textron's polymer-cased-telescoped ammo which requires an entirely new type of gun mechanism, no-one would bother to compete against Textron, which has a 10+ year lead on the development of such systems."
Textron has the head start to be sure. On the other hand, Steyr had arguably a better PCT rifle with their ACR, which they managed to develop from scratch in a few years. Designed 1987, in the ACR trials by 1989.
"Also, if they chose the TVC polymer case, which appears to be running lower pressures than the others (albeit still high), competitors like SIG would need a longer barrel to reach the required performance, which would basically mean a bullpup layout - and GD are already there."
Yes, TV's may require a bullpup, or the acceptance of a ~2850fps velocity from a 16" barrel in a conventional layout.
While I like GD's bullpup a great deal, it could be better - it lacks the X95 style AR15 magazine release, as well as the Tavor bolt release. It's optics rail should extend to the front of the ejection port to work better with short eye relief optics + short people. It's unknown how the trigger is. It may require an AUG style dedicated left hand bolt, as opposed to the more modern reversible ejection bolt found in the Tavor 7, where the bolt is simply rotate 180 degrees for left side eject. The rifle also appears to make minimal use of polymers in its construction.
And their SAW entrant is a 20rd magazine fed automatic rifle that weighs ~11lbs...far less attractive to the Army then a 12lb belt fed machine gun.
So I could definitely see a re-opened competition providing something like Knight's LMG - a 12lb constant recoil belt fed chambered in TV's 6.8 case. And possibly the production of either a more refined GD bullpup, better bullpup entirely, or perhaps a weird Army / Marines mix:
GD bullpup Rifle
GD bullpup SAW
FN SCAR 6.8 soft recoil 16" w/ GD suppressor, takes GD bullpup 6.8 Mags
Knights 6.8 LAMG belt fed in TV 6.8
I agree with all of your points, although I would like to introduce a nuance to the problem: How hard can be to develop a new feed and expulsion system for CT cartridge?
I mean, it would be far less difficult than, for instance, creating G11 operative system
Some incredibly well done renderings of the Tetxtron NGSW by some random guy on twitter:
And videos which are even better:
All in all an incredible reverse engineering simulation.
I wonder how it would tame the recoil, besides return spring / buffer and supressor's effect on gasses
Nicely done random guy.
Great find! And the last part of the full-auto animation confirms what you said about the purpose of the "auxillary charging handle." https://forums.delphiforums.com/autogun/messages/?msg=7519.214
"I wonder how it would tame the recoil, besides return spring / buffer and supressor's effect on gasses."
Well, the rendering is based on a sort of 'Rainman' genius reverse engineering - the actual Textron rifle may have some different internal factors.
For example, rather then the captured dual-spring buffer shown (which in and of itself would dampen recoil) they may employ something like a hydraulic buffer.
As can be seen in this video, a Hydraulic Buffer alone is capable of dramatically dampening the 'sharpness' of the AR10 recoil:
Beyond that, assuming the render is mostly accurate, I see two factors that would dampen recoil / muzzle climb.
-The rising/falling chamber. As the bolt retracts, the chamber drops, which I believe will help drive some of the actions recoil downward. I believe this will help counteract muzzle climb, similar to the theory behind the Kriss Vector:
-The bolt (once again assuming render is accurate) looks fairly lightweight, which reduces the reciprocating mass and overall impact energy of the bolt on the shooters shoulder when it impacts the buffer in the end of the stock.
Also, unlike all other firearms, here the bolt does not contact/extract the cartridge. Here, the cartridge is backed by ~1" of steel, and the bolt simply fires a firing pin through a hole in this steel support structure.
So its likely that since the recoil force of the shell is not impacting the bolt, the bolt will be traveling rearward with less energy.
In terms of LSAT/PCT weapons design, theres some other interesting rendering showing alternate layouts.
PCT 'SCAR' configuration:
ARES ACR bullpup beltfed:
Most relevant, an updated Textron patent, with clearer images: