This is intended for people interested in the subject of military guns and their ammunition, with emphasis on automatic weapons.
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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.
Actually, the competition was a two-stage affair, at least in regard to what became the XM250.
The first stage was NGSAR (Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle), with a PON in early 2018.
Contracts were awarded in July 2018, and no preference was shown to barrel length, weapon configuration, or feed method.
When the downselect was made in mid-2019 for Phase 2, again no preferences were shown in regard to those characteristics.
So your premise that competitors would know after the first stage what the evaluators liked, is not really supported by history.
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.
They could have done all of the above this time, but did not. They also have not yet shown that TV ammo can safely handle the pressure of SIG's hybrid case. This suggests that maybe it cannot.
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 was to make it more amenable for polymer cases.
I don't know. I have no information on the matter.
In regard to the "unusually gentle" shoulder angle...
I did not think that I needed to add the qualifier "recent" or "designed in the last half-century". I was aware, for example that the shoulder angle is similar, but not equal to, that of the 7.62x39 cartridge. To be more precise then, upon reviewing SAAMI approved cartridges, the .264 USA has an unusually gentle shoulder angle for an American cartridge designed in the last 50 years, with the exception of the 7-30 Waters which, for reasons known only to the designer himself, uses a shoulder angle of 34°24'.
BTW, this includes cartridges based on older case designs that utilize the shoulder angle of the parent, like the 25-06 Remington which was approved in the 1960's.
I agree on this idea of funding development phases that merge the best of what we had presented into a single best of everything final product.
We probably also need better baseline funding for incremental improvements and r&d.
It seems like a criminal waste to not keep funding both sig and Lonestar/tv to improve what they have and even to give each team a copy of the other teams work so they can both make improvements.
I think if anything this particular competition has shown us that the way we're handling development and implementation is wildly suboptimal and that in order to really get the most out of what we have we need to do things differently.
I did not think that I needed to add the qualifier "recent" or "designed in the last half-century".
To be more precise then, upon reviewing SAAMI approved cartridges, the .264 USA has an unusually gentle shoulder angle for an American cartridge designed in the last 50 years...
Seeing as how this is not the Sporting Arms and Ammunition forum, I thought that you meant it's "unusually gentle" for US military cartridges.
The 17.5-degree shoulder of the .264 USA is the same as on the .30-06, and only slightly gentler than the 20-degree shoulder of the 7.62 NATO.
BTW, the only comment I found about .264 USA being "amenable" to use of polymer cases is this speculation on TFB:
"Not only has the .264 USA possibly been designed specifically for composite cased ammunition, or at least with it in mind..."
Since that says nothing about .264 USA case shoulder angle, I'm curious as to the source where it was suggested. Link?
I have to question how such a small difference in shoulder angle (relative to 7.62 NATO) is likely to be significantly better.
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design of sig lmg to xm250 has slight differences.
I really wonder how much long term durability this gun is going to have. The 6.8NGSW is substantially hotter than 7.62NATO, and the XM250 is extremely light weight. At this point I wouldn't be surprised if the design picks up several lbs in the next few years as it transitions to adoption then A1/A2/etc forms.
At this point I wouldn't be surprised if the design picks up several lbs in the next few years as it transitions to adoption then A1/A2/etc forms.
The Sig MCX 5.56 started off ~2015 as a beautifully balanced 6lb rifle. I held it when it was debuted at SHOT and though 'wowza!'
Well it got taken off the market, multiple versions later the 'MCX Virtus Patrol' is now a hulking 7.9lbs....it went from the lightest piston 5.56 in the world to one of the heaviest 5.56 rifles in the world.
So I could absolutely see the NGSW's gaining weight over time.
The original virtus was In many ways the inspiration for my current AR pistol build.
So much so that my 11.5" bbl foxtrot Mike bufferless AR is actually going to wind up sporting a sig folding buffer tube knuckle (the sig folding tube to picatinny knuckle is gorgeous and gas very nice positive lockup) mated to a tailhook mod2 assembly.
Picked up a PA dot and magnifier which sit on a lower 1/3 cowitness riser and has the magnifier folding left along with the brace.
Unlike virtus it's a DI unit but it took a lot of cues from what sig did there. It should weigh somewhere between current virus weight and original virtus weight all up and my ammo of choice will fragment out to 300 meters from an 11.5" tube.
We desperately need to get back to light handy guns if for no other reason than so we can put 3 pounds of shit on them and ONLY have them weigh as much as a loaded Garand all up.