NGSW Rifle (M4 Replacement)

muttly

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It looks promising . It will require the military to do and about face on
their weapon systems. And then there is NATO . Are we going to be able
to convince them to adapt this new caliber or will we have to go it alone.
Many questions few answers .
 

Tuna

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A bit late to make a thread. Of the 3 competitors, 2 have left and the rumor is that the competition will not end with a winner. Apparently, the more-powerful-than-8mm-mauser ammo is in fact too powerful for a general issue carbine. Who could have seem that coming. They are likely to try again with a slightly less powerful cartridge once the competition wraps up.
 

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The suppressor looks like it will get caught on every obstruction you can imagine, apparently they had to go with that because otherwise it would be longer than an M4 carbine which would apparently committing some sort of blasphemy.

I have to question the wisdom of issuing suppressors to the general infantry too. By default the infantryman is a noisy creature and hearing protection is cheaper. That extra length could go to the barrel so you're not trying get this very high velocities out of barrels that are simply too short and will wear out too quickly.

If the methods they incorporated to control the recoil on these things aren't enough to tame the cartridge they decide upon I don't think it's a suitable replacement for the standard rifle/carbine. Maybe for the squad DMR and LMG.
 

MihoshiK

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The suppressor looks like it will get caught on every obstruction you can imagine, apparently they had to go with that because otherwise it would be longer than an M4 carbine which would apparently committing some sort of blasphemy.

I have to question the wisdom of issuing suppressors to the general infantry too. By default the infantryman is a noisy creature and hearing protection is cheaper. That extra length could go to the barrel so you're not trying get this very high velocities out of barrels that are simply too short and will wear out too quickly.

If the methods they incorporated to control the recoil on these things aren't enough to tame the cartridge they decide upon I don't think it's a suitable replacement for the standard rifle/carbine. Maybe for the squad DMR and LMG.
The USMC conducted exercises with troops who were all issued silencers, and they realized that both ease of communication AND situational awareness went up dramatically. Turns out that making less noise tends to do that. Which is really one of those DUH! moments.

Which is why the Corps is looking at issueing every rifleman a can.
I have to question the wisdom of issuing suppressors to the general infantry too. By default the infantryman is a noisy creature and hearing protection is cheaper.
A quieter weapon makes you less of a target.
And this too.

Cans are cheap and small enough nowadays that issueing every soldier with one is not a problem.
 

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The suppressor looks like it will get caught on every obstruction you can imagine, apparently they had to go with that because otherwise it would be longer than an M4 carbine which would apparently committing some sort of blasphemy.

I have to question the wisdom of issuing suppressors to the general infantry too. By default the infantryman is a noisy creature and hearing protection is cheaper. That extra length could go to the barrel so you're not trying get this very high velocities out of barrels that are simply too short and will wear out too quickly.

If the methods they incorporated to control the recoil on these things aren't enough to tame the cartridge they decide upon I don't think it's a suitable replacement for the standard rifle/carbine. Maybe for the squad DMR and LMG.
The USMC conducted exercises with troops who were all issued silencers, and they realized that both ease of communication AND situational awareness went up dramatically. Turns out that making less noise tends to do that. Which is really one of those DUH! moments.

Which is why the Corps is looking at issueing every rifleman a can.
I have to question the wisdom of issuing suppressors to the general infantry too. By default the infantryman is a noisy creature and hearing protection is cheaper.
A quieter weapon makes you less of a target.
And this too.

Cans are cheap and small enough nowadays that issueing every soldier with one is not a problem.
It's trendy but that doesn't mean it's some sort of revolution. Suppressors used to wear out very fast and apparently this is less of an issue now but it's still weight and extra length on the end of a rifle or carbine. What was the point of switching over to carbines if you're going to throw suppressors on them all and almost bring them back up to rifle length but without the better ballistics of the 20 inch barrel? As for the USMC's results I'd have to imagine that good hearing protection should also be able to solve most of the communication issues in a squad. The Marines seems to be having a lot of odd ideas on how they want to operate as a branch lately so I'm left with some questions as what they envision themselves as.

I've never had the misfortune of being in a firefight but I don't think a competent enemy is going to have much trouble determining the general direction enemy fire is coming from at typical infantry combat ranges (less than 250 meters IIRC). It might be different if you're talking about one or two guys with DMRs taking potshots at long range but those guys already often had suppressors. IMHO if the results are so impressive these suppressors should be specified to be integral to the weapon which would minimize the disadvantages.

Are there any more details on the SiG "hybrid cartridge solution"? The base looks like it might be steel.
 

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I've never had the misfortune of being in a firefight but I don't think a competent enemy is going to have much trouble determining the general direction enemy fire is coming from at typical infantry combat ranges (less than 250 meters IIRC). It might be different if you're talking about one or two guys with DMRs taking potshots at long range but those guys already often had suppressors. IMHO if the results are so impressive these suppressors should be specified to be integral to the weapon which would minimize the disadvantages.

It's mainly about the improved ability of teammates to talk to each other during a firefight, not about not being detected.

It may also reduce service-related health care costs by reducing the degree of hearing loss in infantry.
 

dan_inbox

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I don't think a competent enemy is going to have much trouble determining the general direction enemy fire is coming from at typical infantry combat ranges (less than 250 meters IIRC).
Don't forget that a lot of combat happens in urban areas nowadays.
Reducing the sound clue to your location is definitely a plus IMO.
 

Orionblamblam

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I don't think a competent enemy is going to have much trouble determining the general direction enemy fire is coming from at typical infantry combat ranges (less than 250 meters IIRC).
Don't forget that a lot of combat happens in urban areas nowadays.
Reducing the sound clue to your location is definitely a plus IMO.
Plus firearms echoing around concrete hallways are a little loud, a bit of a problem for the fellers pulling the trigger. Bad enough in the jungle or the desert, but gunfire in enclosed spaces is a fast path to deafness.

960x0.jpg
 

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Why do they fail out of the gate by asking for a composite case? If they want more power just go with the 6.8mm SPC II. That's why it was built and all the parts already exist. On top of that it would bring the price down for civies.

lwrci_26_photo-courtesy-alice-nalepka-lwrci-six8-a5-2.jpg
 

sferrin

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I remember about 15-20 years ago ITT subcontracted the manufacture of NV goggles to China. $100m fine. That was at least a quad facepalm.
I don't recall if it was a subcontract or if ITT actually sold the goggles to China. All I'm finding is, "illegal exports" but it could be just using them as an unapproved contractor under ITAR. I do know it was the biggest fine in the company's history. (We were part of ITT in those days. Also the relationship with China, while not good, was better than it is now.)
 

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Somebody might want to tell them Vortex optics are produced in China. Jesus.

View attachment 669368

Only the cheaper stuff. The higher end lines are made in the Philippines or Japan, and apparently the top of the line (the Vortex HD-AMG) is assembled in the US using Japanese glass. Now, that's a $3700 6-24x scope, so not cheap. Expect the actual glass in the NGSW-FC to be a bit less, being a simpler 1-8x. Then again, the NGSW-FC scope is going to cost a lot anyway and the cost of the actual glass is probably the least significant element of the total price.

Buy-American guarantees that anything the US military plans to buy for general issue is going to be at least assembled in the US.

 

Moose

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Why do they fail out of the gate by asking for a composite case? If they want more power just go with the 6.8mm SPC II. That's why it was built and all the parts already exist. On top of that it would bring the price down for civies.

View attachment 669358
They were looking for flatter trajectory and very good armor penetration at very long (for regular infantry) range. Neither of those is the SPC II, which was designed to be a heavier round for M4-family rifles to throw in close quarters engagements. The innovative case designs were a result of attempting to get the desired performance without n overly heavy weapon. Or, to be more accurate, when they saw from LSAT and civilian developments that big case weight reductions were possible, they sketched out requirements that they would otherwise only dream of due to the expected weight penalty.
 

totallyaverage

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Why do they fail out of the gate by asking for a composite case? If they want more power just go with the 6.8mm SPC II. That's why it was built and all the parts already exist. On top of that it would bring the price down for civies.

View attachment 669358

SPC doesn't even succeed in meeting its intended goals of meeting and exceeding 5.56 and similar rounds. Shooting short, far projectiles is exactly the opposite of an optimized design. Anything that 6.8 provides, the US already has with M855A1 in range, lethality, and accuracy, while not imposing limits on rounds carried like SPC would.

If you want an actual economy improvement in US small arms, limited improvements to the M4 like a new bolt, buffer, and free floated upper would provide better reliability and accuracy at a limited cost. Armor penetration requirements can be met with a 5.56 ADVAP round. It wouldn't have the same long range ability to pierce plates like 6.8 GP, but that requirement is so out of line with reality it will probably kill the NGSW program before seeing service.
 

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I can't say I've ever heard the M4 describe is inaccurate. I think you are dealing with some limitations of the calibers in use. If nothing else NGSW has been good for developing potential 6.8mm cartridges to replace 7.62x51mm NATO and technologies be applied to a whole range of small arms. I'm most interested in how Textron's cased telescoping ammo performed in the field.
 

Tuna

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Why do they fail out of the gate by asking for a composite case? If they want more power just go with the 6.8mm SPC II. That's why it was built and all the parts already exist. On top of that it would bring the price down for civies.

View attachment 669358
6.8mm SPC II has about 60% of the power that they wanted. They did not want a cartridge that was powerful for an intermediate cartridge, they wanted something that was a legitimate competitor to 8mm Mauser for the dubious honor of the most powerful widely issued military cartridge. Polymer cases was not actually something they asked, it's just that they set the weight maximums for the gun and the ammo so that some kind of exotic ammunition was necessary to meet the spec.

Also, the polymer cases were not what failed. By all accounts, the True Velocity polymer cases with a brass ring at the rear worked just fine. In many ways, they are already way superior to the ammunition that's in common use today. Instead, the problems they had were all the ones you'd expect to have when you try shoehorn a 140 grain bullet that goes 3100fps at the muzzle into a carbine.
 

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I've heard it claimed that the True Velocity cases can't stand up to the pressures Sig's metal cases and the Textron's polymer telescoped cases can which is why they had to go with a bullpup for the longer barrel.

Supposedly these designs feature some novel methods to reduce recoil but it does seem questionable if they can get it down to levels controllable for effective bursts on automatic. They might be trying to aim for too much.
 

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I remember about 15-20 years ago ITT subcontracted the manufacture of NV goggles to China. $100m fine. That was at least a quad facepalm.
I don't recall if it was a subcontract or if ITT actually sold the goggles to China. All I'm finding is, "illegal exports" but it could be just using them as an unapproved contractor under ITAR. I do know it was the biggest fine in the company's history. (We were part of ITT in those days. Also the relationship with China, while not good, was better than it is now.)
These days even fire extinguisher brackets are marked ITAR. When I see this I'm like, "I hate to break this to you guys, but the Russians and Chinese know how to build brackets, that cat's out of the bag."
 

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If the Army spec for the 6.8 x 51 is 140 gn bullet fired at 3,100 fps would create ~ 3,000 ft lbs of energy, ~20% increase on a M80 7.62 Nato and ~225% on a M855 5.56

Why are the Army specifying such a powerful round, more than the WWII 30-06, Mauser 8mm, British 303, Russian 7.62R, Army claiming need to defeat future body armor.

Only possible with high pressure, the Sig Sauer 6.8 needs a steel head on the brass case, said to take the ~80,000 psi to meet spec and the TV 6.8 polymer case with brass head by firing at a slightly less powerful ~2,600 ft lbs energy, 135 gn bullet at just under 3,000 fps round comes in at 60,000 psi, same as the current M80 7.62.

The new NGSW rifles to fire these high recoil rounds hand held in full auto need to be able reduce the high recoil to ~5.56 levels, so understand GD and Sig Sauer rifles will be using short recoil barrels to let the pressure drop before able to extract fired case plus needing the suppressor, adding complication and expense in build of rifle. The other big drawback to high pressure means higher heat that burns out the barrels at much faster rate so expecting it will have to be mitigated by expensive/exotic steel for barrels, why machine guns have to have changeable barrels.

PS the Mauser s.S. Patrone 7.92 x 57 created ~2,700 ft lbs energy operated at 46,400 psi so able to use 'standard' steel barrels, that's only ~60% of the 80,000 psi needed for the Sig Sauer 6.8 round, as always pushing for the final 5/10% limit can get expensive very fast.
 

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If the Army spec for the 6.8 x 51 is 140 gn bullet fired at 3,100 fps would create ~ 3,000 ft lbs of energy, ~20% increase on a M80 7.62 Nato and ~225% on a M855 5.56

Why are the Army specifying such a powerful round, more than the WWII 30-06, Mauser 8mm, British 303, Russian 7.62R, Army claiming need to defeat future body armor.

Only possible with high pressure, the Sig Sauer 6.8 needs a steel head on the brass case, said to take the ~80,000 psi to meet spec and the TV 6.8 polymer case with brass head by firing at a slightly less powerful ~2,600 ft lbs energy, 135 gn bullet at just under 3,000 fps round comes in at 60,000 psi, same as the current M80 7.62.

The new NGSW rifles to fire these high recoil rounds hand held in full auto need to be able reduce the high recoil to ~5.56 levels, so understand GD and Sig Sauer rifles will be using short recoil barrels to let the pressure drop before able to extract fired case plus needing the suppressor, adding complication and expense in build of rifle. The other big drawback to high pressure means higher heat that burns out the barrels at much faster rate so expecting it will have to be mitigated by expensive/exotic steel for barrels, why machine guns have to have changeable barrels.

PS the Mauser s.S. Patrone 7.92 x 57 created ~2,700 ft lbs energy operated at 46,400 psi so able to use 'standard' steel barrels, that's only ~60% of the 80,000 psi needed for the Sig Sauer 6.8 round, as always pushing for the final 5/10% limit can get expensive very fast.
Maybe they foresee huge advances in body armour?
 

Tuna

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Maybe they foresee huge advances in body armour?

The advances are already here, and widely deployed to US personnel. What they foresee is likely adversaries finally being able to afford their troops the same level of kit. The Chinese are definitely getting there.

I really don't think upping the power of all infantry rifles this much is a good way to counter that, though. The main purpose of a bullet is to suppress, and a cartridge that weighs twice as much means you are only suppressing half as much. People in body armor are not terminators, hits can still be crippling.
 

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Maybe they foresee huge advances in body armour?

The advances are already here, and widely deployed to US personnel. What they foresee is likely adversaries finally being able to afford their troops the same level of kit. The Chinese are definitely getting there.

I really don't think upping the power of all infantry rifles this much is a good way to counter that, though. The main purpose of a bullet is to suppress, and a cartridge that weighs twice as much means you are only suppressing half as much. People in body armor are not terminators, hits can still be crippling.
time to dust off the boys.
 

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The advances are already here, and widely deployed to US personnel. What they foresee is likely adversaries finally being able to afford their troops the same level of kit. The Chinese are definitely getting there.

I really don't think upping the power of all infantry rifles this much is a good way to counter that, though. The main purpose of a bullet is to suppress, and a cartridge that weighs twice as much means you are only suppressing half as much. People in body armor are not terminators, hits can still be crippling.
time to dust off the boys.
???




OR

View attachment 669853
[/QUOTE]
The second option.

But seriously, gun v armour, how long until you re-configure the squad, around 2 or 3 anti-material rifles, or go back to the russian system, and put the 'big' gun on some wheels/sled. The they will shrink the personal weapon, to a dinky microM4.
 

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Russians only need to dust off their PTRS and PTRD 14.5x114mm then anti-tank rifles...

Also Hamas had Iranian anti-materiel rifles in that caliber, Israeli soldier gets hit right in center and folds like a ragdoll inward.
 

iverson

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The US Army ordinance types have a long history of pushing over-powered cartidges on the infantry. I remember reading that Ordnance insisted that the 6.5 mm Swedish/Norwegian cartridge in the Krag-Jorgensen was not powerful enough, hence the .30 Krag which, being in its turn not powerful enough, led in its turn to the .30-06. Yet as a result of lessons learned fighting in the Philippines, the Infantry Board considered the .30 Krag to be TOO powerful, too heavy, and with too much recoil. The Infantry requested .22- and .177-cal Krags so that soldiers could carry more ammunition. When the Ordnance refused, the Infantry had prototypes made and successfuly field tested both calibers until the Ordnance got wind of it and stopped the effort.
 

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The Infantry requested .22- and .177-cal Krags so that soldiers could carry more ammunition. When the Ordnance refused, the Infantry had prototypes made and successfuly field tested both calibers until the Ordnance got wind of it and stopped the effort.

Do you have any more info on these? I'd be really curious to see the cartridges. A .177 in the early 1900s seems really unusual.
 

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The US Army ordinance types have a long history of pushing over-powered cartidges on the infantry. I remember reading that Ordnance insisted that the 6.5 mm Swedish/Norwegian cartridge in the Krag-Jorgensen was not powerful enough, hence the .30 Krag which, being in its turn not powerful enough, led in its turn to the .30-06. Yet as a result of lessons learned fighting in the Philippines, the Infantry Board considered the .30 Krag to be TOO powerful, too heavy, and with too much recoil. The Infantry requested .22- and .177-cal Krags so that soldiers could carry more ammunition. When the Ordnance refused, the Infantry had prototypes made and successfuly field tested both calibers until the Ordnance got wind of it and stopped the effort.
Remember a story of a General visiting 30-06 ammo plant during WWII and noticing that the case was not filled with powder, the 30-06 had been downloaded from the round used in the bolt action '03 Springfield as it was too powerful for the semi-auto M1 Garand. The story is that the General's visit resulted in what was in effect a cut down 30-06, the 7.62 Nato (case length was reduced from 63.3 to 51.2 mm).

The 1950 post war trials with the intermediate 280 British - 7 x 43 round (the Brit take on the German StG 44 the world's first successful assault rifle with its 7.92 x 33 round) vs the full powered 7.62, the US Army insisted nothing less than the .3" full powered round would be do as the 7.62 x 51 could penetrate a helmet at 1000 yards.

The 7.62 proved too powerful to hand fire in full auto with the semi-auto M14 designed to take the new 7.62. In Vietnam the Army in a panic turned to the Armalite AR-15/M16 with its .223 varmint round (5.56) which was available to counter the fire power of the Viet Cong with their full auto Russian AK47s, the requirement for the round to be able penetrate a helmet at 1000 yards went out the window.

The current Army requirement to for the new very powerful 6.8 x 51 round to penetrate new body armor has shades of deja vue 70 years later.
 

iverson

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The Infantry requested .22- and .177-cal Krags so that soldiers could carry more ammunition. When the Ordnance refused, the Infantry had prototypes made and successfuly field tested both calibers until the Ordnance got wind of it and stopped the effort.

Do you have any more info on these? I'd be really curious to see the cartridges. A .177 in the early 1900s seems really unusual.
Unfortunately not. I recall reading an article about this while waiting for someone in the periodical room of a University library many years ago. I believe it was in the US Army Association's Army magazine, but I can't be sure after all these years.
 

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The Infantry requested .22- and .177-cal Krags so that soldiers could carry more ammunition. When the Ordnance refused, the Infantry had prototypes made and successfuly field tested both calibers until the Ordnance got wind of it and stopped the effort.

Do you have any more info on these? I'd be really curious to see the cartridges. A .177 in the early 1900s seems really unusual.
Unfortunately not. I recall reading an article about this while waiting for someone in the periodical room of a University library many years ago. I believe it was in the US Army Association's Army magazine, but I can't be sure after all these years.
I can find records of some .22LR Krag conversions for gallery (indoor) practice shooting. But a .177 (4.5mm) combat round sounds very unlikely any time before the 1970s. It would have to be incredibly fast/hot to have even marginal lethality and would be a real barrel burner without modern metallurgy.
 

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<snip>
The current Army requirement to for the new very powerful 6.8 x 51 round to penetrate new body armor has shades of deja vue 70 years later.
Yes indeed. The 5.56-mm round and the AR-15 have been in satisfactory service for some 50-60 years. The basic concept has been almost universally adopted--witness the Russian and Chinese switch to similar cartridges. So of course bot must be replaced.

Moreover, history consistently shows that most infantry combat has taken place at ranges somewhere between 100 and 400 yards, never at a 1000, and, that all things considered, effectiveness depends on the number of rounds fired more than the correctness of the aim.

There's nothing new about the Ordinance people's bias towards high pressures and velocities, unrealistically long range, and aimed, single shots to discourage waste of ammunition:
  • During the US Civil War, the Ordinance Dept. rejected the Spencer (with their detachable magazines) and Henry repeating rifles in favor of muzzle-loaders. Repeaters were adopted for cavalry service over Ordinance objections and proven in service.
  • After the war, the Ordinance replaced the repeaters with the single-shot, higher-powered, and utterly unreliable Trap-Door Springfield that became infamous at the Little Big Horn.
  • The M-1 Garand was proposed with a 0.276-in (7-mm) cartridge better suited to the semiautomatic action, but Ordinance considered this too weak a loading. So the Ordinance's pistol substitute, the 0.30-in carbine, became the default US assault rifle up through the early years of Vietnam, when the USAF bought the Armalite to replace its Security Police carbines.
  • When US manufacture of the 20-mm Hispano-Suiza cannon ran into trouble, in part as a result of Ordinance-mandated improvements, the Ordinance considered switching to a copy of the Mauser MG.151--but only after converting the latter to use the more powerful Hispano ammunition.
  • The Hispano ammunition was not powerful enough either, so Ordinance tried necking it down to 0.50-in (12.7-mm) before settling on the 0.60-in (15.2-mm) machine gun as the ultimate replacement for 20-mm.
 

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