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US Army selects PCP for polymer 7.62x51   Ammunition <20mm

Started 14-Jun by gatnerd; 1547 views.
Apsyda

From: Apsyda

16-Jun

I suppose that means that True Velocity ammo did fail to hit some kinds of standards then.    

Although its odd that they'd beat out PCP in the NGSW trials earlier, only to lose here later. Perhaps it came down to cost over anything else.

EmericD

From: EmericD

17-Jun

"The M240 machine gun is the primary weapon for this effort [...]"

So, 6.8x51 mm conversion kit and now polymer case M80A1 for the M240... the US Army really wants lighter stuff, no matter what it is!

gatnerd

From: gatnerd

17-Jun

Yeah it seems a bit divided / bizarre to be doing this now with 6.8 NGSW (along with other request for 6.8 M240 conversions a few months ago.)

Plus of course now that we're out of A'stan and pivoting to Near Peer HIC, the rationale for lightweight ammo for extensive foot patrols seems less pressing. 

stancrist

From: stancrist

17-Jun

gatnerd said:

Yeah it seems a bit divided / bizarre to be doing this now with 6.8 NGSW (along with other request for 6.8 M240 conversions a few months ago.)

What you characterize as divided/bizarre, I'd call prudent planning which shows that somebody in Army leadership has paid attention to history. 

It is not absolutely certain that the XM5 and XM250 will be fielded.  Remember previous XM-series weapons, like the XM8 (carbine and light tank)?

gatnerd said:

Plus of course now that we're out of A'stan and pivoting to Near Peer HIC, the rationale for lightweight ammo for extensive foot patrols seems less pressing.

We've been here before.  For half a century after WWII the Army's focus was on HIC.  What types of conflict did the Army actually do?  LIC and COIN.

And even in the seemingly unlikely event that HIC against a (near) peer opponent should happen, lightweight ammo would be beneficial for logistics.

nincomp

From: nincomp

17-Jun

I wonder if the reduced-range ammo for the new 6.8x51 will be loaded in polymer cases at some point.  There has been some speculation that the new 6.8 Carbine would use the reduced range ammo for combat as well as practice.

Then again, True Velocity claimed that their polymer cartridge could handle 80,000 psi.  The bottom of the cartridges are made of metal already.  I wonder if PCP could make full-pressure 6.8x51 ammo as well?

stancrist

From: stancrist

17-Jun

nincomp said:

I wonder if the reduced-range ammo for the new 6.8x51 will be loaded in polymer cases at some point. 

It definitely will be.

Maybe.  Maybe not.

It will never happen.

One of the above is probably right.  wink

nincomp said:

There has been some speculation that the new 6.8 Carbine would use the reduced range ammo for combat as well as practice.

Is there a sound, logical basis for that speculation, or is it just random internet guys saying, "Hey, why not use the reduced-range training ammo for combat?"

It seems to me the Army would want to use ammo with the GP bullet for combat, not a special projectile designed to limit maximum range for target practice.

nincomp

From: nincomp

18-Jun

There is no technical reason why a lower-powered GP round could not be developed for door-kickers.  The extra penetration may be considered a liability in an urban environment and reduced recoil and reduced weight (with a polymer case) would address commonly cited disadvantages of the new weapon system.  Cost would also be a factor because the hybrid cases will not be cheap.  A GP round at lower pressure would increase barrel life as well.

There is more than one type of reduced range ammo.  One option would be a version of the GP load at lower pressures, possibly using a higher-drag projectile.  Since the new weapons will have a programmable optic, it is no longer so important for the reduced-range projectile to match trajectory of full power combat ammo out to several hundred meters.  As you are probably aware, some current reduced-range ammo use fins or flutes designed to slow bullet rotation and cause instability after a certain distance.  If desired, of course, this type of ammo could be produced as well.

  • Edited 18 June 2022 10:32  by  nincomp
stancrist

From: stancrist

18-Jun

nincomp said:

There is no technical reason why a lower-powered GP round could not be developed for door-kickers.

That's not the issue.  The question is, does the Army have any plan to develop a reduced-power GP load?

The only info I recall seeing is that -- of the planned loads -- there is only one GP load, and it is full power.

nincomp said:

There is more than one type of reduced range ammo.

Yes, but as with the GP, there has been mention of only one reduced-range load currently being planned.

Since all I've seen from the Army is that it's for training, I'm skeptical that it will be used as combat ammo.

EmericD

From: EmericD

18-Jun

stancrist said:

Is there a sound, logical basis for that speculation, or is it just random internet guys saying, "Hey, why not use the reduced-range training ammo for combat?" It seems to me the Army would want to use ammo with the GP bullet for combat, not a special projectile designed to limit maximum range for target practice.

The 135 gr FMJ "training / practice" round proposed by SIG and used in all the recent videos posted on Youtube is not "reduced range" in the sense you're pointing out.

It's a "reduced range" ammo versus the full power GP round.

  • Edited 18 June 2022 10:00  by  EmericD
stancrist

From: stancrist

18-Jun

EmericD said:

The 135 gr FMJ "training / practice" round proposed by SIG and used in all the recent videos posted on Youtube is not "reduced range" in the sense you're pointing out. It's a "reduced range" ammo versus the full power GP round.

Thanks, Emeric.  If that is conventional lead-core FMJ, it seems unlikely to be adopted by the Army for training/practice use. 

Environmental regulations to reduce lead pollution on firing ranges are what led to development of (lead-free) EPR bullets.

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