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NGSW Phase 2 Consolidation and info   Small Arms <20mm

Started 30/8/19 by gatnerd; 556569 views.
BruhMomento

From: BruhMomento

28/4/22

"as we move forward"

im assuming this means the army will use the spear as a platform like the m4...? will they field it sooner or after years of fine tuning?

 

nincomp

From: nincomp

28/4/22

I honestly think that projects like NGSW should be done in at least two phases.  The goals in this case were beyond current feasibility, so the vendors had to guess which compromises would be preferred.  Although we don't yet know the initial "requirements" in the NGSW RFP, we have seen reports that those for the velocity and weight reduction were reduced after the fact.   It seems that the initial downselect eliminated who guessed wrong and decided to meet velocity "requirements".  They submitted  larger-diameter conventional cartridges at "normal" pressures (6.8 short mag and 6.8 Sherwood).   The eventual winner chose unusually high pressure cartridge requiring a relatively expensive case, the same size as 7.62x51 and with minimal weight savings. 

Competitions where none of the competitors can meet the aspirational goals lead to a situation of : "We would have proposed something different if we had only known the compromises you woulsd prefer." A second round of competition between TV and SIG would have allowed both companies to home in on functional improvements.  I would guess that TV would raise chamber pressure, permitting either a shorter version of what was submitted or non-bullpup versions.  They would probably submit a belt-fed LMG.   I have less of an idea of that SIG would change, but possibly felt-recoil reduction of its rifle.  

Being an engineer, I also think that contracts like this should cover development expenses so that best ideas from all the competitors can be combined.   In a competition like this, seldom does one competitor have ALL the best ideas.  We may never know if the best compromise was a high-pressure TV cartridge in SIG weapons, for example.  That is, unless TV works on a similar idea to sell to other countries.

  • Edited 28 April 2022 15:55  by  nincomp
stancrist

From: stancrist

28/4/22

nincomp said:

Competitions where none of the competitors can meet the aspirational goals lead to a situation of : "We would have proposed something different if we had only known the compromises you woulsd prefer." A second round of competition between TV and SIG would have allowed both companies to home in on functional improvements.  I would guess that TV would raise chamber pressure, permitting either a shorter version of what was submitted or non-bullpup versions.  They would probably submit a belt-fed LMG.

I don't see any logical reason for those conclusions.

1.  Being chosen for a second round would validate TV's submission of a bullpup NGSW-R and -AR, giving TV no cause to develop non-bullpup versions and/or a belt-fed LMG.

2.  Even if TV somehow concluded that they should switch horses mid-stream, who would design and develop a belt-fed LMG for them?  I doubt either TV or Beretta is able.

RovingPedant

From: RovingPedant

28/4/22

stancrist said...

2.  Even if TV somehow concluded that they should switch horses mid-stream, who would design and develop a belt-fed LMG for them?  I doubt either TV or Beretta is able.

Given that the TV round works out of anything that can run 7.62x51mm, FN or Knights Armament could have a go?

stancrist

From: stancrist

28/4/22

gatnerd said:

       EmericD said: at least 2 competitors (True Velocity and PCP tactical) used outsourced 135 - 136 gr solid copper bullets for their in-house development phase

We also have Soldier Systems initial reporting on the SIG's specs, which quoted 135gr @ 2850fps 13", 3000fps 16". So thats our 3rd indication of 135gr being relevant.

I agree that it is reasonable to conclude that the 135gr weight of the surrogate bullets is relevant.  However, that information does not necessarily indicate that the steel-tip GP projectile weighs ~135 grains.

Considering the expected cost of the tungsten-tip SP armor-piercing bullet, I think it's far more likely that all of those 135gr surrogate bullets duplicate the weight of the SP round, not that of the GP projectile.

The certainty in this forum that the pictured GP bullet weighs only circa 120 grains would seem to support that idea.

stancrist

From: stancrist

28/4/22

RovingPedant said:

Given that the TV round works out of anything that can run 7.62x51mm, FN or Knights Armament could have a go?

Perhaps they would be willing. 

If TV paid them enough $$$$$.

nincomp

From: nincomp

28/4/22

GD/TV may not have switched to conventional layout, but merely demonstrating acceptable velocity from a shorter barrel would make a conventional layout an option.  SIG demonstrated a conventional layout designed for higher pressure.  SIG also demonstrated a LMG.  If the contract had been written allow a mix and match of cartridges and weapons, TV ammo in SIG weapons would have been an option.  As I stated, seldom does one competitor have all the best ideas.  Often needless complexity is added just to circumvent someone else's better idea.  Look at the mess with new rifle selection in Germany for an example.

Depending upon the design, it is often not terribly difficult to modify an existing design to handle the higher pressure. To give you an idea, Olympic arms and Dtech both sold modified AR15's that shot the WSSM cartridges that had 0.535" diameter case heads and 65,000 psi chamber pressures.   Those cartridges produce slightly more backforce than the 6.8 SIG Hybrid at 80,000psi.  The change mainly involved increasing the diameter of the bolt and barrel extension.  From interviews with SIG reps, it appears that SIG kept the same bolt diameter as their model 716 7.62x51 AR)  and just changed to a stronger steel.

Although I am certainly not an expert of modern machine guns I know that many of them use use a rotating bolt that locks at the front of the receiver.  This means that receiver stretching is less of an issue than with lever or flapper locking designs that require a significant length of the receiver to withstand higher forces.

I would also be stunned if General Dynamics had not proposed a variant of their .338 LWMG, which was designed for comparable bolt forces.

  • Edited 28 April 2022 18:12  by  nincomp
Msg 7519.2605 and the next 1 deleted
nincomp

From: nincomp

29/4/22

Part of the reason that I suggested a two-stage competition is that, in my experience, the second iteration of a complicated device is almost always better.  The competitors had to guess which compromises the Army would prefer because the Army wanted the impossible.   After the first phase of competition, the vendors would know what the evaluators liked and disliked and go from there.  It appears that they did not want bullpups, but had no issue with an unusually high chamber pressure.  It did not matter at this stage that the Marines would prefer bullpups and magazine-fed automatic rifles.  The decision was up to the Army and the preference appeared to be short barrels. 

At this point GD/TV/Berreta could decide if it was feasible to bump up pressure to gain velocity in shorter barreled weapons.  In reality, GD backed out during the competition, leaving an TV, an ammo maker in charge of their bid.   If TV's neckless polymer case could in fact tolerate 80,000psi, I suggest that they would have put a maximum effort into: 

1) Demonstrating that their ammo could do anything that SIG's hybrid could do, but at less weight and lower cost, and

2) Demonstrating that a mere barrel/gas-system would allow other weapons, EVEN THE SIGs to use their new and wondrous ammo.

I am certain that TV et al would also evaluate if it would be possible to submit non-bullpup designs and it is conceivable that they would.  Even if that were the case, I suggest that they would want to make certain to show that their ammo in the best light and suggest it could be used in SIG's weapons.    It is possible that issues with the TV ammo would have surfaced and eliminated it from contention, but we will never know.  The weight savings and potential cost savings might have been dramatic, but we won't know.

Going back to the earlier discussion of polymer versions of standard ammo.  Today I happened to come across the 6.5 USA cartridge while looking for something else.  It was suggested that its unusually gentle shoulder angle of less than 18 degrees per side (almost the same as for the 7.62x39) was to make it more amenable for polymer cases.  It indeed resembles the internal geometry of the TV cartridge in the photo you found.

  

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